After month-long clash, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot shake hands, smile for media
Jaipur/IBNS: After days of public clash which led the Rajasthan government on the brink of collapse, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and rebel leader Sachin Pilot came together for the first time for a meeting in Jaipur on Thursday, shook hands and later smiled for the camera.
Sachin Pilot was invited to Gehlot's home for a meeting of Congress MLAs, seen as a 'homecoming' and 'truce' talk with the party leadership in the state after a month-long rebel by the former deputy.
Gehlot made the announcement of the meeting after several tweets this morning and said that he was all for "forgive and forget" and moving on "for the sake of saving democracy."
According to media reports, the two leaders, both wearing masks, sat together at the meeting with "only a slight stiffness in their body language betraying the awkwardness of the reunion."
There is no substitute for truth integrity.The bonds of friendship & ideology are unbreakable, they will stand the test of time & reinvigorate the party.The direction & leadership of Hon'ble Congress President Smt.Sonia Gandhi & Shri.Rahul Gandhi ensured this bond gets stronger. pic.twitter.com/OgaNXiwyJ2— K C Venugopal (@kcvenugopalmp) August 13, 2020
The meeting was held to plan for the special session of the Rajasthan assembly starting Friday.
The reunion of the leaders gained more mileage especially since the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced to move a no-confidence motion against the government.
Gehlot has, meanwhile, said that his government will undertake a trust vote to prove its majority.
The BJP had been a threat for the Congress-led Rajasthan government, who had 102 MLAs at the time of crisis, just one more than the majority mark in the 200-member assembly.
The BJP has the support of 75 MLAs and needs 30 more to defeat Gehlot.
Therefore, the return of Pilot and his 18 loyalist MLAs will strengthen the Gehlot government with the support of 125 MLAs.
"What happened, let us put it behind us. We would have proved our majority even without these 19 MLAs, but that would not have given us any happiness. Kyonki apne toh apne hi hote hain (family is family)," Gehlot told reporters.
"The struggle of Congress party is to #SaveDemocracy under leadership of Smt #SoniaGandhi ji & #RahulGandhi ji. Whatever misunderstanding occurred in the party in last one month, we need to forgive & forget in the interest of country, state, ppl & in the interest of democracy," Gehlot tweeted today, indicating that despite his reluctance he was ready to fall in with the wishes of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
We have to put all our energies in this fight to save democracy with the spirit of forgive & forget and move forward.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) August 13, 2020
"#SaveDemocracy should be our priority with the spirit of forgive and forget. The conspiracy that is going on to topple elected governments one by one in the country, the way governments were toppled in the states of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh & other states, " he wrote in another tweet.
#SaveDemocracy should be our priority with the spirit of forgive and forget. The conspiracy that is going on to topple elected governments one by one in the country, the way governments were toppled in the states of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh & other states,— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) August 13, 2020
The development happened following Pilot's meeting with a panel of Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi that put the final seal on "truce" with him on Monday.