Weeks after Congress leader Sachin Pilot's revolt and ahead of the assembly session in the state, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written a letter all 200 MLAs, urging them to “stand with truth” and “save democracy”.
In the three-page letter sent on Saturday, Gehlot about the fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and attempts made to topple his government.
“I appeal to all of you to save democracy, keep the faith of the public in us and to avoid wrong traditions you should listen to the voice of public. Regardless of which party you belong to, by keeping the sentiment of people in mind you must be mindful of the fact that how an elected government continued to work for the people and hence it was able to thwart all attempts to topple the government,” Gehlot wrote, adding, "I am confident that you all with stand with truth and will contribute in delivering promises made to the public.”
“Amid the pandemic, we should all be concerned about fighting coronavirus... saving lives, economy, jobs. The state government is working day and night for this. At such a time, some of our colleagues and opposition leaders are trying to conspire against us... this is unfortunate," he added.
Gehlot also said that former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee also faced defeats during elections, but “didn't let the democracy get weakened".
Stressing on the need for “People’s mandate”, he said, “Victory and defeat are a part of election cycles.”
Congress leader Sachin Pilot, 42, and nearly 18 MLAs loyal to him have revolted against Gehlot, who many believe, still has an edge in the numbers game and is confident of having a majority.
The state assembly is meeting from August 14 and Gehlot may call for a trust vote.
While a section of the BJP has been keen to topple the Gehlot government with support of Congress rebels, sources said enior BJP leader Vasundhara Raje has not been very enthusiastic about it.
Meanwhile the Congress on Thursday claimed to have the numbers and majority in Rajasthan and said it is eagerly waiting for the state assembly session on August 14.
Senior spokesperson of the party Ajay Maken said it was "status quo" as far as the rebel Congress MLAs in Rajasthan are concerned.
He said the Congress is "upbeat" about proving its majority as the opposition has not had the courage to bring forth a "no-confidence motion" against the Ashok Gehlot-led government in the state.
"The numbers are with us. The majority is with us and the biggest thing is that the truth is also with us. We wanted to convene a session of the state Assembly and even the opposition has not got the courage to bring a no confidence motion against us, as everyone knows that the majority is with us," Maken told reporters, when asked about the party's position in Rajasthan.
Maken is one of the two central observers sent by the Congress high-command to oversee the political developments in Rajasthan, where party leader and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, along with 18 other MLAs, has revolted against the government.
Asked whether any of the rebels had got in touch with the party, Maken said it was "status quo".