After defying party leadership with a public protest against his party-led government in Rajasthan, senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot reached Delhi today, reportedly to meet the party leadership. While the possibility of Mr Pilot meeting senior party leader is not scheduled so far, sources in the party have not ruled out the possibility of Mr Pilot meeting the party leadership.
Sachin Pilot’s fast on Tuesday to press the Ashok Gehlot government for action against corruption drew a stern warning from the Congress, who said any such action on his part would amount to anti-party activity.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who has been silent all along, has called a press conference today.
With a backdrop devoid of the Congress name or symbol, Mr Pilot began his one-day fast in Jaipur on Tuesday surrounded by supporters aimed at his party rival Ashok Gehlot, whom he accuses of not acting on allegations against the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje.
“We had assured people that effective action will be taken against corruption by the former BJP government. I wanted the Congress government to take action but it has not happened in over four years,” Mr Pilot said.
“This struggle against corruption will continue,” he said.
Moments after he began his protest, Mr Gehlot posted a video in which he listed his government’s welfare policies, attempting to project himself as a “pro-poor, common man’s Chief Minister”.
“Rajasthan will be No. 1 by 2029,” Mr Gehlot said, declaring price rise as an election issue.
The public squabbling between the two leaders in Rajasthan has hugely embarrassed the Congress as it prepares for elections in one of the few states it rules.
While the Congress leadership has deliberately avoided a confrontation of taking any action against the Sachin Pilot, it appears to have thrown its weight behind Mr Gehlot, at least for now.
“Sachin Pilot’s day-long fast on Tuesday is against the party interests and is anti-party activity. If there is any issue with his own government, it can be discussed in the party forums instead of in the media and public,” the Congress’s Rajasthan in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa had said in a statement on Monday.
“I have been an AICC in-charge for the last five months and Pilot ji has never discussed this issue with me. I am in touch with him and I still appeal for calm dialogue since he is an indisputable asset to the Congress party,” Mr Randhawa said.
Mr Pilot’s latest confrontation with Ashok Gehlot is seen as his attempt to put pressure on the Congress leadership to settle the issue of who will be the key face of the party in Rajasthan.