Ahead of a meeting of the Congress Legislative Party in Rajasthan, the party on Monday claimed support of 109 MLAs in the 200-member House, enough to brave the challenge posed by the rebellion Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
At a media briefing at 2:30 am in Jaipur, AICC General Secretary Avinash Pande said the party has issued a whip asking all its MLAs to be present at the CLP meeting convened by Gehlot at his residence at 10:30 am today (July 13).
“A total of 109 MLAs have signed a letter expressing their trust and support to Rajasthan government led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and leadership of Sonia Gandhiji and Rahul Gandhiji,” said Pande, flanked by senior leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Ajay Maken.
“A few more MLAs had telephonic conversations with the chief minister and they will also sign letters of support till morning,” he said.
AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal is expected to reach Jaipur for the meeting.
The Congress government in the state was pushed to the edge after Pilot declared rebellion on Sunday night, claiming support of 30 MLAs. Pilot has already announced that he would not attend the meeting called by Gehlot, an act of defiance that may lead to his expulsion from the party.
The Congress has 107 seats in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly and has the support of 10 independent candidates, two MLAs each from the CPI(M) and the Bharatiya Tribal Party and one MLA from the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
The BJP has 72 members in the Rajasthan Assembly and has the support of three MLAs from RLP.