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‘Pilot’s eagerness to be CM is hurting Congress in Rajasthan’

News‘Pilot’s eagerness to be CM is hurting Congress in Rajasthan’

NEW DELHI: Sachin Pilot’s outburst against his own party’s Rajasthan government and his own party Chief Minister has led the Congress leadership to depute heavyweight Kamal Nath to bring some immediate peace in the election-bound state. However, once the elections are over, most likely in November this year, Pilot may find himself in a politically difficult situation.
Congress leaders based in Rajasthan and in Madhya Pradesh, who have been following the developments happening in Jaipur, said that the intervention of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Kamal Nath might have achieved a temporary ceasefire, but Pilot’s actions have damaged the party considerably and his continuance in the party is likely to be a short one.
These leaders predicted that Pilot, the son of former Congress Gurjar stalwart Rajesh Pilot, had only two options—staying in the Congress until he is forced out or to float his own party and try to defeat Ashok Gehlot.
“There is considerable distrust against him among party workers. He has been attacking the Congress more fiercely than the BJP is. The common sentiment among party workers is that he has made a commitment to certain people in Delhi to damage the Congress in Rajasthan. He had tried to do it once in the past (referring to Pilot moving to a resort in Manesar, Haryana in July 2020 along with a group of MLAs to ensure the fall of the Gehlot government), and hence this feeling is natural,” a former Congress spokesperson, who is considered close to Gehlot, told The Sunday Guardian.
A party MLA who does not belong to the Pilot camp said that he earlier had the support of 17 MLAs, which has now been reduced to 10. “In July 2020, he had 17 MLAs with him. Two of them later passed away and those who won in their place are now loyal to Gehlot. As of now Pilot commands the support of ten MLAs. Whatever the media in Delhi shows or writes, the fact remains that Pilot has a limited belt of support in Rajasthan. Even among his own Gurjar community, he is not popular across the entire community. Let him leave the Congress and float his own party, I will give you in writing that he will not win even five seats. There are some leaders who start thinking that they are bigger than the party, it is only after the election results come that they get a reality check,” he said. The Gurjars account for roughly 8.5% of the total population of the state.
According to him, Pilot has made the job of BJP to remove the Congress easier in a state where there is a trend of the voters replacing the incumbent party in power every five years. The Sunday Guardian also spoke to three district level functionaries who claim that Pilot’s impatience to gain the CM’s chair, which would have come to him naturally, has done harm to the party.
“In election year, our two top leaders are fighting with each other. Pilot’s recent actions are not going to help us in the election. Ideally, he should have worked towards ensuring that the Congress comes to power again. Then there would have been no option before Gehlot but to move aside; now Pilot has given him another shot at taking oath as the Chief Minister of the state,” one of the functionaries said.

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