Jaipur, June 12 (IANS): The presence of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot along with 62 MLAs, including 15 state Ministers, in Dausa to observe the death anniversary of former Union Minister Rajesh Pilot has sparked much speculation among political circles in the state.
The 62 MLAs present on the occasion on Tuesday included 4 Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs and 4 formerly independent legislators who joined the Congress in March this year.
Meanwhile, the absence of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on the occasion showed up the growing factionalism within the Rajasthan Congress, which refuses to die down despite warnings from the party's central leadership.
The coming together of 62 MLAs in Dausa marked the biggest political gathering in the town for the prayer meeting organised here to pay tribute to Rajesh Pilot who died in a road accident on June 11, 2000.
"This can be termed as a show of strength of Pilot camp which has been growing and strengthening ever since the party witnessed a collapse in the Lok Sabha elections, reducing its tally to zero," a senior Congress worker told IANS on Wednesday.
"Since then, the MLAs, in feeble as well as strong voices, are pitching to promote Pilot as the Chief Minister."
Another Congress worker, however, said: "Gehlot, despite all odds, seems comfortable as Chief Minister. This has been proved three days back when he quietly shifted into the CM's (Chief Minister) bungalow.
"His shifting into this bungalow speaks volumes in terms of political language which although remains silent but strongly portrays a message that all is well with his position and camp."
This worker also said that despite all such developments and factions emerging in theCongress camp, nothing is going to change till things settle down in the party headquarters in Delhi.
"This comes as an after-effect of a major tremor in Delhi which has strongly impacted Rajasthan Congress. Once things cool in Delhi, Rajasthan too will witness a smooth going," he said.
State ministers present at the Dausa prayer meeting included Health Minister Raghu Sharma, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Bhanwarlal Meghwal, Cooperation Minister Udailal Anjana, Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachriyawas, Woman and Child Development Minister Mamta Bhupesh, Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara, among others.
Jogendra Avana, Vajid Khan, Deepchand Khairiya, and Sandeep Yadav are the BSP MLAs who attended the event.
The Congress has 100 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly. With the support of its alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the party achieved the majority figure of 101 in the House.
Meanwhile, 12 independent MLAs joined the Congress in March 2019 taking the party's tally in the assembly to 112. Six BSP MLAs have also already given their external support to the Congress.