Last Updated: June 06, 2023, 19:24 IST
Rajasthan Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot (left) and Sachin Pilot. (File photo/Getty Images)
According to sources, the crucial meet with Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi on May 29 did not result in any resolution of “core issues” between the Gehlot and Pilot
Speculation about Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s next move refuses to die down as several media reports have claimed that the former deputy chief minister of Rajasthan has made up his mind to quit the Congress and may float a new party ahead of the crucial state assembly elections, slated to be held later this year. It is learnt that he is likely to make a big announcement on June 11 when he marks his father’s death anniversary in Dausa.
The power tussle between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his bete noire Pilot has been obvious since Congress formed the government in Rajasthan in 2018. In 2020, Pilot led a revolt against Gehlot after which he was removed from the posts of the party’s state unit president and deputy CM.
Sachin Pilot to Quit Congress?
On Tuesday, sources close to the 45-year-old leader Pilot told the news agency PTI that he was firm on his demands, including action against alleged corruption during the previous Vasundhara Raje government, and was waiting for a definitive response from the party high command.
Commenting on the media reports, sources said that Pilot is focussed only on the fulfilment of his demands that the Gehlot government takes action against alleged corruption during the previous BJP regime and acts on issues of the youth such as those related to government recruitment examination paper leaks.
“He (Pilot) is waiting for a response from the party leadership, the ball is in their court,” a source was quoted as saying.
Leaders close to Pilot said he has taken a “principled position” and it is not about posts. The issues of corruption and paper leaks are his top priority, they added.
When asked by the media about reports on Pilot likely to announce new party on June 11. Congress party’s in-charge for Rajasthan, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa was qouted as saying by news agency ANI, “I am hearing this from you. I think there is nothing like that. He didn’t want that earlier, he doesn’t want it now.”
Big Announcement on June 11?
The preparations for the programme marking Rajesh Pilot’s death anniversary, which is held annually, are going on in full swing in Dausa and are being supervised by Minister of State for Agriculture Marketing Murari Lal Meena, who is known to be close to Pilot.
With all eyes on that programme, Meena told reporters, “I have no idea from where the speculation of the new party started. I do not see any substance in such speculations. I work following the ideology of the party.”
Cong’s Peace Formula Failed?
According to PTI sources, the crucial face-to-face meet of Gehlot and Pilot with Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi on May 29 did not result in any resolution of “core issues” between the two Rajasthan bigwigs. The meeting was held to address the internal strife within the Rajasthan Congress.
Speaking to reporters after the four hour-long meeting in Delhi with the party high command, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal had said that Gehlot and Pilot have “unanimously agreed” to fight the upcoming Rajasthan assembly elections in a “joint fight against the BJP”.
“We have decided to fight elections unitedly. Definitely, we will win the elections in Rajasthan. Both Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have unanimously agreed with the proposal. It is very clear that Rajasthan is going to be a strong state for the Congress party. We are going to win. Therefore, both the leaders Gehlot ji and Sachin ji have decided to go together. The Congress party will fight elections unitedly,” Venugopal had said.
Notably, this was the first face-to-face interaction between Gehlot and Pilot in the presence of senior party leaders in quite some time.
(with inputs from PTI)
Arpita RajArpita Raj works at the ‘Breaking News Desk’ and covers general, national, and international day-to-day news for news18.com. After graduating from Jam…Read More