Sachin Pilot refuses to attend key meeting of Congress MLAs called by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday

Sachin Pilot, the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan, revolted against the Congress leadership on Sunday, setting the party up for another state collapse just three months after it lost Madhya Pradesh to the BJP. Pilot, who claims the support of 30 MLAs, has refused to attend a key meeting of Congress MLAs called by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday, a huge sign that he may be next to exit after Jyotiraditya Scindia.
The 42-year-old, who is in Delhi with some of his loyalists, has not been granted a meeting with the Gandhis so far. His aides do not deny a dialogue with the BJP though they say negotiations are not active.
“Rajasthan Deputy CM & Congress leader Sachin Pilot not to attend Congress Legislative Party meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow. Pilot says Ashok Gehlot Govt in minority after over 30 Congress and some independent MLAs have pledged support to Sachin Pilot,” a message from Pilot’s office read.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot held a a legislature party meeting at his residence on Sunday evening, after which the party issued a message of solidarity. “Gehlot-ji has the majority. We will bring more MLAs from BJP than we would lose,” Congress MLA Rajendra Gudda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Another meeting will be held on Monday.
Earlier, the Congress paraded the three MLAs who were in Delhi on Saturday and were known as loyalists of Mr Pilot, before the media. All three said they supported the Ashok Gehlot government. One of them, Rohit Bohra, had earlier told NDTV that his visit to Delhi was “personal” and the other two MLAs also had their own errands.
Meanwhile, the BJP has ruled out offering the Chief Minister post to Mr Pilot, sources said, because of numbers and internal leadership issue. The party needs the support of another 35 MLAs to form government. In terms of the top post, the biggest claim is of Vaundhara Raje, the BJP’s tallest leader in the state.