Congress leadership upset as Pilot pitches for action against ‘rebels’


Hopeful of forming the government again after assembly elections this year-end in Rajasthan, the Congress high command is learnt to be displeased over the statements made by Sachin Pilot. The high command’s displeasure stems from the fact that as to why Pilot is still seeking leadership’s action in the incident of 25 September last year when the matter has been closed. The high command believes that repeated attempts by Pilot to flag this issue are harming the party only.

In fact, it was all a closed chapter after the party high command removed Ajay Maken as in charge of Rajasthan when the meeting of the MLAs could not take place on 25 September. Moreover, the high command was satisfied with the response of the three leaders who had been given show cause notices. Then, the leadership did not take any action against them after being satisfied.

Since Mallikarjuna Kharge became Congress president, the party is focussed completely on the strategy to win the upcoming elections. The newly appointed Rajasthan in charge, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has said repeatedly that the party needs to be united to win elections under the leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Randhawa is visiting states, holding meetings with the workers and office-bearers with the sole aim of preparing strategy for the election.

Due to Gehlot’s decisions and schemes, the high command is hopeful that the Congress will retain power in Rajasthan. But what is perturbing the leadership is the fact that Sachin Pilot and his supporters are making statements defying the high command’s instructions not to do so. This practice is weakening the party. Kharge has admired Gehlot’s decision to provide a full meal to people for a nominal payment of Rs 8. But Pilot’s behaviour is embarrassing and surprising for the leadership. The message that is going out is that Pilot is challenging the leadership’s decision in a way.

In 2020, Sachin Pilot along with over a dozen MLAs “tried to topple” the government of his own party in Rajasthan. He did so while he was the state party president. It happened for the first time in the Congress’ history that a party president tried to dislodge a party’s own government. He was later sacked as PCC chief.

After intervention by senior leaders, Pilot was allowed to join the party. But after a brief silence, he has again started the activities aimed at destabilising the government.
Ignoring the high command’s instructions, Pilot again flagged what he called an “inordinate delay” by the leadership in taking action against those “who did not let the legislature party meeting take place on 25 September”.

In fact, contrary to this claim it is said that the 90 MLAs who had stayed away from the meeting and had resigned “to save the government” were loyalists of the high command. They were actually not happy with the way Pilot was “involved in the government toppling game” allegedly at the behest of the BJP.