Ahead of party meet, Congress puts out yet another appeal to Sachin Pilot

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The Congress on Tuesday issued yet another appeal to Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and his supporters to attend the meeting of party legislators in Jaipur amid the turf war between the young leader and chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

This time as well, the Congress evoked its president Sonia Gandhi, senior leader Rahul Gandhi and the “ideology and values” of the party to placate Sachin Pilot.

Avinash Pande, the state in-charge of Rajasthan, tweeted his request to Sachin Pilot and the members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) who have sided with him in the political crisis.

“I appeal to @SachinPilot and to all his fellow MLAs to attend today’s meeting of the legislature party. Please make your presence known and strengthen the position of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi expressing your faith in the ideology and values of the Congress,” Pande posted in Hindi.

Before this, senior Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Ajay Maken had called on Pilot to come back and attend the second legislative party meeting on Tuesday multiple times throughout the day on Monday.

Pilot, who is also the Rajasthan unit chief, turned down the invitation for the meeting at a resort late on Monday night.

Both sides have claimed they have the numbers.

There were 102 MLAs—88 Congress MLAs, 10 independents, two Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) MLAs, and one legislator each of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal—present at the legislative party meeting held at the CM’s official residence.

The majority mark in the 200-member assembly in Rajasthan is 101.

However, the BTP later asked its legislators not to take sides in the battle but the MLAs have said they will stick to the government.

On their part, Pilot-led Rajasthan Congress camp released a video showing at least 16 MLAs sitting together late on Monday. The 10-second video was shared late at night on Pilot’s official WhatsApp group in what is being seen a show of strength.

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