Rajasthan Congress crisis: The Congress high command have summoned Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot for separate meetings with party president Mallikarjuna Kharge in the national capital today to resolve the internal feud in Rajasthan Congress, a senior party leader familiar with the development said. This was a crucial meeting ahead of the upcoming elections in the state.
The Congress leadership is trying hard to resolve the ongoing bitter feud between Gehlot and Pilot and it seems that the tussle between the two leaders may come to an end. Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot have been engaged in a power tussle since 2020.
"Let them (Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot) come. We will discuss and decide whatever is in the interest of the party," says Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge ahead of his meeting with Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and his bete noire Sachin Pilot in Delhi today.
Rahul Gandhi likely to attend meeting
In addition to Congress Chief, Rajasthan CM and Pilot, party leader Rahul Gandhi is also likely to be part of the meeting. The chief minister's office has also released Gehlot's programme confirming his visit to Delhi, where he will also lay the foundation stone of the Rajasthan House.
Rahul Gandhi and other leaders arrive at Congress HQ for a meeting with Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot today.
When asked about various "formulae" being speculated around Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, CM Gehlot said, "Never in my life have I seen a tradition in Congress that a leader demands something or high command asks him what post he wants...High Command & Congress party are so strong that such a situation will not arise that you are making an offer to pacify someone. It has never happened, it will never happen.."
Pilot's "ultimatum" to Congress
The proposed meeting comes close on the heels of Pilot's "ultimatum" that if three demands he made from the state government were not met by the end of this month, he would launch a state-wide agitation. Pilot has asked for a high-level inquiry into the alleged scams that took place during the tenure of the former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje government, as one of his demands.
According to the senior leader, a meeting of the Congress top brass with all the state leaders was scheduled on May 26 but was later postponed. He said that now the high command will meet Gehlot and Pilot separately to bring them on one platform ahead of the assembly elections, which are due later this year.
A Congress senior leader said that Kharge was successful in bringing Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar together in Karnataka and the party now wants to try the same formula in Rajasthan. He also said that a few days ago a meeting of the Congress high command with the leaders of all poll-bound states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana, was planned, which was postponed.
Pilot's 'Jan Sangharsh Yatra'
Last month Pilot observed a fast demanding action from his own government over cases of alleged corruption during the BJP's term. Despite a warning issued to him by the Congress, Pilot observed his daylong fast at the Shaheed Smarak, Jaipur.
Later on May 11, Pilot launched a 125-kilometre 'Jan Sangharsh Yatra' from Ajmer to Jaipur to raise the issue of corruption during the previous BJP regime led by Vasundhara Raje and cases of paper leaks in government recruitment exams. Following the summons, Pilot cancelled his tour and left for Delhi.
He also demanded disbanding of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) and its reconstitution, compensation for those affected by government job exam paper leak cases, and a high-level probe into charges of corruption he has levelled against the previous BJP government. "If action is not taken by this month-end on these three demands, an agitation will be launched across the state," the former deputy chief minister told a rally.
(With PTI inputs)