Rajasthan Congress leader and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot on Friday rubbished talks of him joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There are reports doing rounds that Pilot is being sidelined by CM Ashok Gehlot and that he has raised the matter with the Congress high command. Pilot is likely to meet Congress leadership in Delhi today.
When asked about BJP leader Ria Bahuguna Joshi's claim that Pilot could soon join the party, he said, "Rita Bahuguna Joshi (BJP leader) has said she has spoken to Sachin. She might have spoken to Sachin Tendulkar. She doesn't have the courage to speak to me."
Joshi had earlier said that Pilot could soon join the BJP. She had made the remark after senior Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the saffron party.
There have been reports of discontentment of Sachin Pilot and the MLAs of his camp have expressed displeasure over the delay in resolving the issues raised by their leader. Around half a dozen MLAs close to Pilot met him at his Civil Lines residence in Jaipur on Thursday.
Former minister Vishvendra Singh held a one-on-one meeting with the former Union minister earlier in the day. Later, Ved Prakash Solanki, Mukhesh Bhakar and Ramniwas Gawria met Pilot. Rakesh Pareek also reached his residence. Solanki, Bhakar and Gawria raised questions on the delay in the cabinet expansion and political appointments by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. They said they will fight within the Congress party and firmly stand with Pilot.
"All of us are raising our voice for the strength of the party. Those who question our allegiance to the Congress are not well-wishers of the party," Solanki, the MLA from Chaksu (Jaipur), told reporters after meeting Pilot. He said the Congress high-command should listen to Pilot and resolve the issues raised by him.
Pilot had returned to the Congress camp after a brief rebellion last year. He is an MLA from Tonk. Pilot was, however, not re-inducted into the Cabinet and also not given any important role in the party.