Sachin Pilot sacked as Rajasthan deputy chief minister, state Congress president

Two of his loyalists ministers, too, have been sacked from their posts.

In a dramatic development, Congress leader Sachin Pilot was on Tuesday removed from posts of Rajasthan deputy chief minister, state unit president after he rebelled against the Ashok Gehlot-led government. Two of his loyalists ministers, too, were sacked from their posts.

Addressing the media, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Gobind Singh Dotasara would be the new Rajasthan state Congress chief.

Tribal leader and MLA Ganesh Ghogra would be the new president of the Youth Congress, he said. Till now, the post was held by Pilot loyalist Mukesh Bhakar, who on Monday had tweeted that the loyalty to the Congress meant the "slavery" of Gehlot.

The party also appointed Hem Singh Shekhawat as the new state president of the Congress Seva Dal, replacing Pilot loyalist MLA Rakesh Pareek.

After the Congress Legislature Party meeting, boycotted by the Pilot faction, the chief minister met the governor, Kalraj Mishra, with a list of his supporting MLAs. He reportedly also informed the governor about the sacking of Pilot and his two loyalists.

Coming out of the meeting, Gehlot told mediapersons that the Congress party was forced to take the decision to sack Pilot. "We knew about the conspiracy for the last six months. The BJP was using money power to topple the government, just like it did in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. The BJP tried to poach our MLAs. The deputy CM was involved in the whole process, playing into the hands of the BJP which is now making all the arrangements But I am happy we have succeeded to foil this plan," he said.

Gehlot also claimed that 122 MLAs, both of Congress and other smaller parties and Independents, continue to support of the government.

However, Pilot seemingly defended himself on Twitter, tweeting that truth can be troublesome but it cannot be defeated. He has also removed all mentions of Congress and Rajasthan government from his Twitter profile.

The development came after the Pilot faction demanded a floor test, with state Food and Civil Supply Minister Ramesh Meena, one of the two sacked ministers, saying this would make it clear how many MLAs are with the Ashok Gehlot faction.

Meena and Vishvendra Singh, another minister who was sacked by the Congress, were among the Congress legislators who skipped both the Congress legislature party meetings on Monday and Tuesday.

"Floor test should be conducted in the assembly. This will expose the claim that the Ashok Gehlot government has the support of 109 MLAs," Meena said on Tuesday.

Congress MLA Deependra Singh Shekhawat too had raised the same demanded on Monday.

"We want a floor test at the earliest, which will make the situation crystal clear. We are with the Congress and Congress (state) president Sachin Pilot," Singh had told reporters yesterday.

Another Congress MLA Murari Lal Meena, who is close to Sachin Pilot, alleged that Chief Minister Gehlot neglected party leaders and workers who had worked hard for five years.

In a tweet, he claimed that the communities in eastern Rajasthan which cast votes in favour of the Congress were being neglected and promises made in elections not fulfilled. Improvement is necessary to saving the Congress. Otherwise the party will get only 11 seats in 2023 (assembly elections), Meena said.

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