Punjab done, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka meet Sachin Pilot to fix Rajasthan affairs

It has been 13 months since the party formed a committee promising to accommodate Pilot and his loyalists after they ended their rebellion and returned in 2020

Punjab done, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka meet Sachin Pilot to fix Rajasthan affairs

Rahul Gandhi with Sachin Pilot. PTI file

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 24

The Gandhi siblings on Friday met former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot in attempts to placate him over non fulfillment of promises the leadership had made when he returned to the party after rebelling in 2020.

It had been 13 months now since the Congress formed a committee to address intense factionalism in its Rajasthan unit and the patience of Pilot and loyalists is said to be running thin.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today met Pilot, close on the heels of AICC General Secretary for Rajasthan Ajay Maken saying that the state Cabinet reshuffle would have happened but for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s health.

Pilot and his camp has been awaiting accommodation for over a year now, with sources saying redistribution of work within the state government was urgent.

“The CM is handling over ten departments and reorganisation of portfolios can help the party ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections,” said an MLA, one of the ministerial hopefuls.

Pilot is learnt to be keen on working in Rajasthan, even though there are possibilities of the leadership asking him to handle an AICC responsibility.

Importantly, Pilot was the only state Congress president who did not graduate to become CM after the party won an election. In Madhya Pradesh, state chief Kamal Nath became CM and in Chhattisgarh, then state president Bhupesh Baghel was elevated. Earlier in Punjab, Capt Amarinder, then state chief, became the CM after the 2017 win.

The rebel camp that made peace with the Congress and Gehlot now wants its due, sources said, with the Gandhi siblings emboldened following the exit of heavyweight Amarinder Singh in Punjab.

Sources said a Cabinet reshuffle and a responsibility for Pilot were under active deliberation but the challenge is to keep Ashok Gehlot on the right side given his sway among the state MLAs unlike in Punjab, where the Gandhis, after an elaborate exercise, had sensed a growing disenchantment with Amarinder.

Pilot is learnt to have made it clear to the party that he was expecting a role in Rajasthan and not in the AICC.

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