Gehlot wins trust vote but shows Pilot his place—a new one!
The vote of confidence hurdle was successfully negotiated by Ashok Gehlot’s Congress government in Rajasthan but it won’t be right to say that his beta noir, Sachin Pilot, was by his side in this contest.
Gehlot’s win was never in doubt after Congress high command made Pilot fall in line and the threat of 19 MLAs with him breaking up the government was nullified.
But it won’t be right to believe that Gehlot is happy with the turn of events. If his calling Pilot “nikamma” at the height of their feud had made headlines, he after the “truce” hasn’t shown him getting particularly warm towards his younger colleague.
When the truce was announced, Gehlot said “of course the MLAs are unhappy.” Today he rubbed salt in Pilot’s wounds by making him sit next to the opposition, away from government benches.
Pilot made light of the insults—and the jeers of the BJP rivals in the house—by stating: “I have been send to the sarhad (border)…next to the opposition. That is because only the bravest and strongest warrior is sent to the border.”
Pilot used to sit next to Gehlot in assembly proceedings, when he was the deputy chief minister of the state. However, this morning he found that he has lost his favourite spot and was now in the second row on the extreme left of the house, directly opposite to his earlier seat.
With 107 seats in the assembly, Gehlot’s winning the vote of trust was never in doubt. It only became uncertain when Pilot threatened to walk away with 19 of his trusted MLAs. However, just in the nick of time, the high command filled the breach. Gehlot though didn’t hold himself back in rubbing in: “We would have won the trust vote even without 19 MLAs.”
The BJP has 72 members in the house.
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