Pilot has announced five venues where he will be meeting ‘people and workers’.
NEW DELHI: The brief lull in hostility in Rajasthan Congress between Chief Minister Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot and his political challenger Sachin Pilot is likely to be revived after Pilot announced that he was going to do five public rallies in the state.
Pilot took to Twitter on 12 January to announce the five venues covering Nagaur, Hanumangarh, Jhunjhunu, Pali and Jaipur spread across North, East and Central Rajasthan, where he will be meeting the “people and the workers”.
The Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo Yatra—in which both Gehlot and Pilot were seen together following a hurried patch-up that was done by the intervention of party general secretary KC Venugopal—left Rajasthan on 21 December after entering the state on 5 December.
One of the primary reasons behind Pilot announcing his desire to meet the people in a state, soon after the exit of the yatra from the state where the elections are due in 10 months -is the decision of the Congress leadership to not to act on the ‘indiscipline’ that was shown by three Gehlot loyalists on September 25 when they along with their supporters did not attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting that was convened to elect the new CM in place of Gehlot who was asked by the party leadership to contest the election of Congress national president.
Pilot had then come out publicly on record and sought action against the Gehlot loyalist who by not attending the CLP meeting effectively ended his chance to be appointed as the CM of the state.
The show cause notice to cabinet minister Shanti Dhariwal, party chief whip Mahesh Joshi and Rajasthan Tourism Development Council (RTDC) chairman Dharmendra Rathore was sent on 27 September by All India Congress disciplinary committee secretary Tariq Anwar in which they were asked to submit their replies within 10 days which they did.
“It has been more than 100 days of this ‘gross discipline’ and no action has been taken against any leaders who ‘revolted’ against the party leadership. This clearly shows that the interest of Pilot and his associates are secondary when compared to the trust enjoyed by Gehlot and company in front of the Gandhis. Pilot by reaching out to the people and the workers is doing the right thing as it is much more impactful than issuing anti-party and anti-leader statements,” a journalist, who has known the Pilot family for a long time, told The Sunday Guardian.
Pilot is hoping that the “tremendous” response that he will get during these public gatherings that will start from 16 January and on till 20 January will force the leadership to take a more neutral approach towards the simmering tension between him and Gehlot and pave way for him being appointed as the chief minister if the party is able to come back to power in the state this year. The AICC’s plenary session is scheduled to be held in Raipur, Chhattisgarh from 24 February to 26 February in Raipur where the Rajasthan issue will be discussed.
“He tried to take the help of certain BJP leaders in July 2020 and come to power in Rajasthan by staging a coup against Gehlot but failed to prove his claims of being a popular leader among the Congress MLAs. This has certainly dented the fair amount of goodwill that he enjoyed among the Gandhis. Secondly, with Vasundhara Raje standing in his way, his entry into the BJP too is not going to be easy. The only choice that Pilot is left with is now to prove that he is a mass leader and gain a seat at the bargaining table, irrespective of who is hosting the event.
More importantly, Pilot needs to show his political strength if he has to seek a good number of tickets for his supporters, something which will be vehemently opposed by Gehlot’s camp. The recent announcement by Pilot to seek validation from the people and party workers should be seen as the beginning of his long effort to prove his worth, which his critics say is more in the media and less on ground.”