Sachin Pilot’s camp fears that Ashok Gehlot will not only consolidate his position after inducting them in the cabinet
As Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot
gathered legislators supporting him for a meeting, his deputy Sachin Pilot
upped the ante, saying the 19-month-old Congress government is in minority and that he has the support of 30 MLAs.
The latest round of power struggle between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, 69, and his deputy Sachin Pilot, 42, has yet again foregrounded the rudderless state of the Congress party.
Pilot’s camp on Sunday said the deputy CM will not attend the legislature party meeting on Monday, which has been called by Gehlot.
Sources in Pilot camp said their leader could even split the party. According to them, Pilot has insisted that Gehlot should not induct two of the six former BSP legislators in the state council of ministers. The six BSP MLAs have joined the Congress. Pilot also does not want Gehlot to make one of the ‘independents’ a minister. Pilot has argued these MLAs had defeated Congress MLAs, and making them ministers would demoralise the party.
Pilot’s camp fears that Gehlot will not only consolidate his position after inducting them in the Cabinet, but constrict Pilot’s influence in the party, even engineer to strip him off the post of the party’s state unit chief.
Pilot, sources said, was unwilling to agree to a compromise. The faceoff comes within months of Jyotiraditya Scindia quitting the party to join the BJP. Rahul Gandhi had quit as the party chief in the aftermath of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll debacle complaining how the veterans in the party have continued to stick to their posts.
As the crisis deepened with Pilot deciding to boycott the meeting called by Gehlot, Scindia tweeted: “Sad to see my erstwhile colleague Sachin Pilot
too being sidelined and persecuted by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.
Shows that talent and capability find little credence in the Congress.”
The Gehlot camp is confident an overwhelming majority of party legislators, as also independents and those from smaller parties, support the CM.
Pilot landed in Delhi with his supporters on Saturday. He was upset the Rajasthan Special Operations Group had sent him a letter to appear for questioning in an investigation into alleged attempts to destabilise his own government.
With inputs from PTI