Abhishek Singhvi said he and Sachin Pilot have known each other “for a long time”.
Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi today said Sachin Pilot had indeed called him up to seek his advice before taking the legal route regarding the Congress notice for disqualification of the rebel MLAs. Mr Pilot had approached the court today, where he sought that the Speaker’s notice to him and his 18 colleagues be struck down. He also asked that the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, commonly known as the Anti-Defection law under which the disqualification notice was sent, be scrapped.
Calling Mr Pilot “a dear friend” and a “most valued colleague” Mr Singhvi, a senior leader and spokesman of the Congress, told NDTV that the Rajasthan leader had “innocently telephoned me two days ago”.
“I jocularly told him that the honourable thing was to tell him that I could not talk to him because I was advising the other side and we both had a good laugh and that was the end of it,” Mr Singhvi told NDTV.
“So it was in that spirit he called me. After all, we have known each other for a long time and he wanted my advice as he values it. But I was advising the Speaker and the dispensation with which his views did not match,” he added.
Mr Singhvi had been one of the leaders who asked the warring factions in Rajasthan to dial down their hostility.
“There is a time and a place for everything. #Gehlot #Pilot seasoned leaders & have to demonstrate the persipicacity & maturity they r famous for. Turbulence shd be shortlived and solutions lasting & deep,” he tweeted earlier.
The meltdown in Rajasthan has been on since the weekend, triggered by police summons to Mr Pilot for investigation into what Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot called “horse-trading” to topple his government.
Amid the firefighting yesterday, Mr Gehlot renewed his accusations, this time claiming to have proof of Mr Pilot’s involvement in the horse-trading.
Mr Pilot and his band of rebels went to court today, represented by Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi – both top lawyers of the government under the BJP rule. Mr Rohatgi was the Advocate General, Mr Salve has represented India internationally in some of the biggest cases.
Mr Pilot has not made any effort to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi or the other Gandhis, sources said, showing a singular lack of interest in any truce. Both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had reached out to him over the week, sources said.