A day after Pilot announced that he was staying with Congress, BJP deferred its legislature party meeting in which was to be held in a hotel in Jaipur on Tuesday evening. All 72 BJP MLAs were to attend the meeting and the party had plans of keeping them in the hotel till August 14, when the assembly was to convene. The party leaders were hopeful that the Ashok Gehlot government would not be able to prove its majority.
The exercise of taking 19 BJP MLAs, who the party felt were susceptible to poaching by Gehlot, to Gujarat has also proved futile as there is no need for a trust vote in the assembly after Pilot did a U-turn. Leader of the opposition Gulab Chand Kataria and BJP Rajasthan unit chief Satish Poonia said the meeting was deferred as some of the MLAs were away and could not attend. They also said all party MLAs wanted the meeting to be postponed in view of Janmashtami celebrations.
The BJP MLAs will now meet on August 13 at 11 am to discuss the course of action in the assembly.
Party members said Pilot was not sure of having enough MLAs to beat Gehlot in the assembly (along with the support of BJP and others). “Towards the end the numbers were not adding up and he probably felt it is better not to be slaughtered. That would have left him nowhere,” said a senior BJP leader, who did not wish to be identified.
When Pilot rebelled, he was “expected to get around 30 MLAs but fell way short”. Though BJP had denied any involvement in the developments, there were clear indications to the contrary.
Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.