The MLAs supporting Ashok Gehlot demonstrated a ‘Dharna’ in front of the Raj Bhavan. Their demand was to call the assembly session. And subsequently, Governor Kalraj Mishra had to agree to their demands.
The question one may ask here, if Ashok Gehlot’s government has a majority in the assembly, as claimed by him, why he wants to go for a floor test? There could be two reasons for it. First, Gehlot, being a veteran in the politics, might have secured some BJP votes in his favor. This was claimed by some MLAs at the start of this crisis. And second, Gehlot could have managed to break a few more rebel MLAs to take a U-turn and come back to the Gehlot’s camp. By taking strict action against two of his MLAs, Gehlot gave a clear and firm message to the rebel MLAs.
However, there is still a possibility that Gehlot might lose the floor test. MLAs might vote against the motion. And if that happens, Ashok Gehlot will lose his government.
At the same time, as the assembly will be in function, the disqualification order passed by the Speaker will also get implemented. This means Sachin Pilot and 18 of his supporters will also lose their membership. And here lies the bigger question. In the given scenario, what will Sachin Pilot do?
Interestingly, Sachin Pilot has, so far, made a very calculated move. He has spoken very little about his options. Though, one thing he has made clear repeatedly is that he is not joining BJP. So, what will he do now?
What Sachin Pilot can do:
Stay in Congress – Sachin Pilot has deliberately said that he is a Congressman and wants to serve the party as its loyal member. His only dissent is with the current Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. So, can he manage to stay in Congress, yet flourish his political ambitions? It’s doubtful.
Join BJP – Sachin Pilot and his 18 MLAs can shift to BJP. However, Sachin Pilot has purposefully maintained a safe distance from the BJP. Why? Well, Sachin doesn’t want to lose the sympathy of his vote bank that he earned during this crisis. On the other hand, BJP has also not openly declared any association with Sachin Pilot. And why not? BJP will not come in the forefront until the Ashok Genlot’s government is down, which may happen now. So, once Ashok Gehlot is out of the power, Sachin Pilot and BJP may join hands. But, will Vasundhara Raje allow this happen?
Float a new party – This appears as the safest option for Sachin Pilot. Looking at the political ambitions that Sachin has, he will not become the Chief Minister until Vasundhara Raje clears the way. And his future in Congress is anyway doomed. So, let’s float a new party. But, that way he will have to work hard to compete with the two giants who have, so far, ruled the state. With the new party, Sachin Pilot may have to wait till 2028 to become the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
Well, Sachin Pilot is actually stuck in a triangle. And he will have to choose one angle that could help him come out of this crisis. At this point in time, floating a new party looks the safest option. But, if Sachin Pilot has to play safely any which way, he would have to take taken so much of risk. So, in most likelihood, once the Gehlot government is out of power, Sachin Pilot should join hands with the BJP and try to form the government in Rajasthan.