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Rajasthan crisis: Sachin Pilot Questions Ashok Gehlot's Leadership Again Amid Congress Rift Over RS Nominees

Targeting Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot again, Sachin Pilot called for introspection on why the Congress party had been unable to retain power in 2003 and 2013. 

Written By
Akhil Oka

Image: PTI


Targeting Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot again, Sachin Pilot called for introspection on why the Congress party had been unable to retain power in 2003 and 2013. On both occasions, Gehlot was the incumbent CM and the Sonia Gandhi-led party was decisively trounced by BJP under the leadership of Vasundhara Raje. Speaking to the media ahead of a two-day party workshop on Wednesday, Pilot contended that Congress will be able to come back to power in the 2023 Assembly poll only if the party takes the "right steps". 

Sachin Pilot remarked, "How can the Congress government be repeated? We have to accept that we were left with only 50 MLAs once and 21 MLAs on another occasion. We have to discuss the reasons for this. What is the reason that the government gives us a majority but we can't repeat the government in Rajasthan? Our governments were repeated thrice in Delhi, thrice in Assam and twice in Andhra. So, it is not the case that Congress governments are not repeated."

"We were not able to repeat the government even before an atmosphere was created by the entry of Modi Ji. We will discuss the reasons. I have given my suggestions to AICC 1.5-2 years ago. I want to thank Sonia Gandhi. She accepted those suggestions and formed a committee and the committee has taken some steps too. We will be able to repeat our government only when we take the right steps at the right time," he elaborated. Pilot's veiled attack on Gehlot comes at a juncture when the party is bracing for a tough contest in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. 

In Rajasthan, 4 seats are up for grabs due to the impending retirement of BJP's Om Prakash Mathur, Alphons Kannanthanam, Ramkumar Verma and Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur. Based on their current strength in the Assembly, Congress and BJP were poised to win three seats and one seat each. However, resentment is rife in the Congress camp after it fielded Randeep Singh Surjewala, Mukul Wasnik and Pramod Tiwari for the RS seats from Rajasthan, despite all three leaders belonging to other states. Moreover, the entry of Subhash Chandra, an Independent backed by BJP has posed a challenge to Tiwari. 

Leadership tussle in Rajasthan

During his meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi on April 21, Sachin Pilot gave an ultimatum to change the leadership in the state citing that the party will lose all polls under Ashok Gehlot. He had fallen out of favour after briefly leading a rebellion in July 2020 after which he was sacked as the Deputy Chief Minister and the Rajasthan Congress chief. Two days later, the Rajasthan CM caused a stir when he revealed publicly that his resignation letter is permanently in the possession of the Congress chief. 

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