Sachin Pilot vs Ashok Gehlot: Rift in Rajasthan Congress widens : The Tribune India

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Sachin Pilot vs Ashok Gehlot: Rift in Rajasthan Congress widens

Pilot appears to be toying with options, including forming his own party, claim observers

Sachin Pilot vs Ashok Gehlot: Rift in Rajasthan Congress widens

CM Ashok Gehlot with Sachin Pilot. File



Tribune Web Desk

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, April 11

Sachin Pilot has opened a new front against bête noire Ashok Gehlot, Congress’ Rajasthan chief minister.

The Congress has dubbed his activities “anti-party”, warning him against going on the fast to protest against “corruption” in his own government.

“Sachin Pilot's day-long fast on Tuesday is against the party interests and is anti-party activity. If there is any issue with his own government, it can be discussed in the party forums instead of in the media and public,” Congress’ Rajasthan in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said on Monday.

Basically, Pilot’s demand is the Gehlot government should take action against those involved in “corrupt practices” in Vasundhra Raje’s BJP government and the aim is to target both Gehlot and Raje and the BJP.

The Gehlot government has denied the allegations of inaction.

The latest Pilot versus Gehlot imbroglio has led to another public spectacle between the two senior Congress leaders of Rajasthan and that too barely some months away from the Assembly elections.

The big question

Why is Pilot taking on Gehlot at a time he should be standing with him to collectively take on the BJP?

The answer is simple—Pilot feels let down

“No action was taken (by the Gehlot government) on corruption by the previous Vasundhara Raje government. While in the opposition, we promised an inquiry into the mines scam of Rs 45,000 crore,” Pilot claims

Though Pilot is using a “corruption” charge, his target remains Gehlot.

The latest confrontation with Gehlot is seen as an attempt to pressurise the Congress leadership to settle the issue of who will be their chief minister candidate in forthcoming elections in Rajasthan.

Pilot feels let down by the Congress leadership for not paying heed to his claim on the chief ministership since the last elections, which he believes he helped deliver for the party.

Polls are due in Rajasthan this year and Pilot feels that the time is running out for him.

The Congress appears to be in no mood to repeat the mistake it made in Punjab—replace Amarinder Singh with Charanjit Singh Channi—at the eleventh hour in Rajasthan and seems to be in the mood to stick with Gehlot.

So what are the options before Pilot?

Observers feel Pilot wants the Congress to take some action against him so that he does not have to quit and can emerge a “martyr and crusader against corruption”.

Apparently, he is also toying with options like forming his own party.

Recently, RLP president Hanuman Beniwal created quite a stir when he stated that Pilot should quit the Congress and form his own party.

“If Sachin Pilot launches a new party, we will form an alliance with him… He should resign the Congress as soon as possible since he is constantly humiliated within the party,” the Nagaur MP was quoted as saying.

Beniwal has given a party in Delhi, which became the talk of the political circles in the national capital.

Several senior politicians, including the two Chief Ministers of AAP, were present at the party. Though there was also the buzz that Pilot may join AAP, observers believe that will not serve his purpose. “AAP is all about Kejriwal, which will not suit Pilot,” they say.

Meanwhile, speculations are rife about a AAP-RLP-Pilot combination to tap the powerful ‘Jat-Gujjar’ combination in the state.

Whether that happens is the big question.

All eyes are on Pilot and Rajasthan.

About The Author

The Tribune Web Desk brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune Wed Desk for not just breaking news stories but wide-ranging coverage of events.

#ashok gehlot #BJP #Congress #Rajasthan #sachin pilot


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