A source close to the top leadership in the state suggested that a change in the state unit president is on the cards.
NEW DELHI: The battle within the Rajasthan Congress, between Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot, is appearing to have slowed down. Gehlot, who is also the Chief Minister of the state, is being seen to be “working normally”, with his close aides suggesting that he may complete his five-year term. An AICC spokesperson told The Sunday Guardian, “Gehlot will remain the CM.” There is, however, no clarity for how long he will stay as the CM, sources said.
It is being heard in Pilot’s close circles that he may have reconciled with self to stay number two in the state and let Gehlot continue in the CM’s position. A political analyst said, “He has taken a wait-and-watch approach and maybe, he knows that the time is not ripe for him to assert for something that could widen the rift in the party further and destabilize the state cadre, that too when the elections are close.”
Political observers believe that it is far better for him not to let a third person, such as C.P. Joshi, gain the CM’s position which could push him to number three in the state. Thereby, in times to come, if C.P. Joshi is delegated the position of CM by Gehlot, it could possibly further edge Pilot out of being an immediate contender for the top position.
A source close to the top leadership in the state suggested that a change in the state unit president is on the cards. He added, “There is a strong chance that Pilot might be made the Pradesh president.” To confirm his ascension to the Pradesh president’s post, The Sunday Guardian tried to contact Sachin Pilot, but the newspaper did not receive any response from him.
Furthermore, as is to be seen a few days back, Pilot told journalists in Kota, “Our goal is to retain power in the 2023 Assembly polls, and we all are collectively working in this direction. We won the last election because of the farmers, youths, and the poor. It is our collective responsibility to fulfil the expectation of workers and the public.”
Experts believe that his recent statement could be an indication to his appointment as the state unit chief. “His statement has no value and will not make any difference as he has no authority over the state unit. He can only strengthen the organisation if he is the state chief of the party,” a political analyst added.
However, Pilot loyalists have continued to hold the line of him being given the CM position soon. His loyalists further say that Pilot has been talking to MLAs after the Rajasthan Congress crisis where majority of the legislators were seen backing Gehlot’s power show. As is circulating among partymen, Pilot has been able to gather more than 60 MLAs with himself, including 35 first timers, and will be made the CM soon after the AICC presidential elections. Pilot’s loyalists have been patiently waiting and wishing for Pilot to become the CM. Pilot’s loyalists’ hope, however, stems from the arguments of senior leaders that Gehlot has committed a bigger sin than Pilot before the Gandhis, as Pilot’s rebellion was confined against Gehlot only, but Gehlot rebelled against the Gandhis. In the past, Pilot had once tried to defect with his MLAs to topple Gehlot’s government in 2020. The incident is believed to have left an indelible bitterness within Gehlot who has continued to stand against Pilot to keep him at bay in the power struggle.