Sachin Pilot Looks Set To Exit Congress; Speculations Rife About Next Move

Swarajya Staff

May 18, 2023, 12:39 PM | Updated 12:39 PM IST

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (L) and Sachin Pilot (R) (File Photo)
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (L) and Sachin Pilot (R) (File Photo)

The political crisis in Rajasthan Congress is deepening with dissident party leader Sachin Pilot threatening to launch a massive agitation against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot led state government over the corruption issue.

Earlier last week, Pilot launched a five-day "Jan Sangharsh Yatra" from Ajmer to Jaipur, covering nearly 125 km on issues of corruption and paper leaks.

In April, the Tonk MLA held a day-long fast, targeting his own party's government in Rajasthan for "inaction" in alleged cases of corruption during the BJP rule in the state.

Gehlot and Pilot have been at loggerheads publicly for more than two years.

In July 2020, Sachin Pilot and 18 of his supporters MLA rebelled against Gehlot's leadership, which resulted in a month-long crisis.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had to intervene to resolve the issue. Subsequently, Pilot lost his roles as Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president.

At the completion of his "Jan Sangharsh Yatra" in Jaipur on Monday (15 May), Pilot had warned a massive movement in the state if action on his demands is not taken by the Gehlot government.

“If action is not taken by this month-end on these three demands, an agitation will be launched across the State. I will serve people till my last breath, nothing scares me,” Pilot said at Jaipur rally.

He was flanked by at least 14 other Congress MLAs at the Jaipur rally.

The three demands raised by him include, inter alia, disbanding the allegedly corrupt Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC), including its professional reconstitution; recompensing youths for cancellation of recruitment exams due to paper leaks, and finally of initiating an unbiased inquiry into the corruption charges that were levelled during the tenure of Vasundhara Raje as chief minister in the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state.

Notably, while continuously stressing on the need to investigate corruption that occurred in the tenure of Raje, Pilot has been taking repeated jibes at the Congress Chief Minister in the recent past.

The declaration of ultimatum and the threat of a state-wide agitation against the Chief Minister is a significant development as the internal feud of the Congress leaders continues to occupy the public stage, with no specific redressal or statement by the Congress high command.

The Congress has termed Pilot's move as "anti-party activity" and in this regard three separate meetings were held by the national and State leadership.

The final call on the issue is likely to be taken soon as the party central leadership was busy in settling the Karnataka chief minister issue.

According to reports, Chief Minister Gehlot has been pressuring the Congress high command to expel Sachin Pilot and his supporters from the party.

Meanwhile, speculations have been rife that Pilot may himself quit the party if his demands are not met.

Pilot, while answering a question about speculations that he may quit Congress soon during an interactions with media after the Jaipur rally, said that there was "no need to speculate".

"Whatever is happening, is all before you. Whatever I say or do, I do it openly. I don't play hide and seek. My demand is ideological, not personal. Nobody can accuse me of being ambitious for a post. Everyone knows of my politics," he said.

However, will he join the BJP or form his own party if he quits the Party, is yet to be seen.

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