With no end in sight for the Ashok Gehlot vs Sachin Pilot slugfest in Rajasthan, the chief minister’s camp will hold a legislative party meeting at Hotel Fairmont in Jaipur where they have been staying. This comes as the Rajasthan High Court resumes hearing in the petition filed by now-sacked deputy chief minister Pilot who is leading a group of 18 dissident MLAs. The Pilot camp has challenged the disqualification notices sent by the Speaker, maintaining that voicing dissent does not amount to defection.
Meanwhile, Gehlot’s public outburst against Pilot yesterday has virtually dashed hopes of reconciliation with the rebel leader, according to a section of Congress leaders. Congress sources indicated that Pilot has been in touch with the leadership and efforts were continuing to pacify him and get him back to the party fold. However, some party leaders feel that Gehlot calling Pilot names and going public against him in the media, has dealt a huge setback to the party’s efforts at rapprochement. Senior party functionaries said the leadership does not approve of adverse remarks against anyone, including political rivals, and has issued an advisory to leaders to avoid personal comments.