Fresh cracks in Rajasthan Congress as Pilot loyalist MLAs accuse govt of bias against SC, ST lawmakers


Express News Service

JAIPUR: The tussle between the Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot camps in Rajasthan has reached the Congress High Command in Delhi.

Three Congress lawmakers in Rajasthan, who were part of Sachin Pilot’s revolt against CM Ashok Gehlot last year, have accused the state government of discriminating against MLAs belonging to SC, ST communities.

The rift in the state unit has intensified over the statements of three Congress MLAs — Ramesh Meena, Murari Lal Meena, and Ved Prakash Solanki. The trio claimed that the government is trying to suppress the voice of MLAs representing the SC, ST, and minorities as they have allotted them seats in the Assembly
without microphones. Congress leader Ramesh Meena even threatened to resign if their problems are not addressed and that he has sought a meeting with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to discuss the matter.

During the recent debate in the Assembly, many MLAs were provided seats with no microphones. Ramesh Meena and Ved Prakash Solanki had trained their guns on Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi claiming that Joshi did not show any sensitivity or seriousness in providing seats for SC, ST, and minority MLAs. They also argued that while some MLAs are given a chance to speak in the House on many occasions, several SC, ST, and minority MLAs are ignored.   

According to Congress sources, the state unit is taking the charges made by Pilot loyalists quite seriously but senior leaders have instructed all party leaders not to make any public statements on this ticklish issue. While the state Congress has collected all statements and video footage of allegations made
by the MLAs in order to appraise the party High Command over the issue, they refused to make any comments on the issue.

Even Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi declined to comment. “I don’t want to say anything on this issue. In case I am asked to give a report, I shall readily give the same to the party. Beyond this, I don’t wish to say anything.”   

The allegations from the MLAs of the Pilot camp have come just ahead of by-polls to four Assembly seats in the state. The by-polls are expected to be held in the next two months. This controversy is a sign that the Congress government in Rajasthan may now be heading for fresh trouble.

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