JAIPUR: The more-than-a-month-long suspense on the stability of Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan, following a rebellion within the state Congress, ended with the ruling party winning a trust vote in the Assembly on Friday.
The BJP neither moved a no confidence motion, which the party had declared on Thursday, nor demanded voting on the government’s confidence motion, which was passed by voice vote.
Former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, who had pushed the Gehlot government into a crisis with his revolt last month, helped the ruling party sail through by supporting the confidence motion.
Gehlot, who had claimed his government would have won the trust vote without Pilot and his 18 loyal MLAs, said in the Assembly, “The BJP was determined to topple my government, while I was determined not to let it fall at any cost.” Gehlot said the crisis ended “beautifully” but left the BJP “bruised”.
Though Pilot was not among the speakers from the ruling side, he intervened twice during the debate when opposition leaders Gulab Chand Kataria and Rajendra Rathore tried to take a dig on the tussle between him and Gehlot.
“They are taking my name repeatedly. I have been seated on the border with the ruling party on one side and the opposition on the other. I pondered on the new seating arrangement and asked myself, who is sent to the border? The answer is — the strongest warrior,” said Pilot, prompting the treasury benches to thump tables in appreciation.
Pilot’s seat in the House was moved behind that of the ministers in the second row since he was removed as the deputy chief minister. Earlier, he used to sit next to Gehlot in the front row.
“With time, things will get clear. I am not here to make a speech. Be it me or my colleagues, we have shared our ‘ailment’ (grievances) with the ‘doctor’ (Congress leadership). We have entered the House after putting an end to all that. Now, despite the heavy ‘bombardment’ here, I will defend my government like a warrior, with armour, shield, spear and mace,” said Pilot, to more table thumping.
Pilot intervened for the second time when Kataria attacked the government, saying it has been taking credit for the increase in employment under MNREGA during the pandemic but failed to give credit to Pilot who held the panchayati raj and rural development portfolios. “Please leave that to me and my party. You concentrate on what you have to,” Pilot told Kataria.
Gehlot later tweeted: “Winning the trust vote in the Assembly is a message to the forces that are trying to destabilise elected governments in the country. All their tactics failed in Rajasthan. It is the people’s unwavering trust in us and the unity among Congress MLAs that brought this victory.”
Once the House was adjourned for the day, Pilot went up to Gehlot and congratulated him for the victory. Outside the house, Pilot said, “The government winning the trust vote in the Assembly has put an end to all speculations. Despite attempts made by the opposition, the government won with solid majority.”
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje was present in the House but did not participate in the debate.
During the debate, Gehlot blamed BJP for misusing ED and CBI to topple state governments, while Kataria and Rathore accused his government of misusing the SOG and the anti-corruption bureau to threaten legislators.
The opposition accused the government of illegally tapping phones of elected representatives, while Gehlot alluded to Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in reference to audio clips on horse-trading of MLAs. The opposition objected when Gehlot accused Union home minister Amit Shah of toppling elected state governments.


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