Rajasthan: Ties mended with Congress, Sachin Pilot bound for Jaipur
Congress leader Sachin Pilot's homecoming in Congress is now complete, as he will be back in Rajasthan's capital Jaipur today, weeks after he went rogue and rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. He ironed out differences with the party after meeting former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra last evening. However, Gehlot isn't too pleased with the recent developments.
Backstory: The desert storm created a flutter before weathering out
The infighting that sparked after Gehlot became the CM in 2018, reached a distasteful turn when Pilot revolted against his senior last month. He fumed after being dragged into a case launched to probe attempts to topple Gehlot's government. Taking more than 18 of his loyalists, Pilot camped in Haryana, rejected Congress' offers, and was eventually sacked as Deputy CM and state Congress chief.
Pilot's battle was replete with twists, Gehlot also played cards
As his chair was under peril (a CM needs 101 MLAs on his side to run the Rajasthan Assembly), Gehlot tried threatening Pilot's camp. Speaker CP Joshi served them with disqualification notices, prompting a legal battle which Pilot won. Thereafter, Gehlot convinced Governor Kalraj Mishra to convene an Assembly session from August 14. It's being speculated that he will face a floor test soon.
Gehlot's confidence spelled doom for Pilot's revolt
All along, Gehlot's confidence confirmed that he didn't depend on Pilot's camp for numbers. On the contrary, not siding with him in the session would have spelled trouble for the young turk and his team as they would have faced disqualification. When the revolt was rendered toothless, Pilot and Gandhis reached a consensus. Meanwhile, a three-member panel will look into the rebels' grievances.
Not a comeback, never left Congress: Pilot after truce
Now, Pilot, who hadn't addressed media when the crisis was raging, seems satisfied with whatever he got. He told India Today, that the developments mustn't be seen as his "comeback" because he "never left" Congress. "It was important for us to raise the concerns we had with the style of governance in Rajasthan. I will continue calling a spade a spade," he added.
Pilot was hurt by name-calling, said will work with Gehlot
The 42-year-old also took objection at Gehlot calling him "nikamma." "I was definitely hurt by the name-calling, but I refrained from making such remarks and move above that. As for my work, it is for everyone to see," he said, adding that this is not the first time he will be working with Gehlot. Pilot also said he doesn't want any post.
He claimed he didn't demand any enviable post
"I am a very satisfied man and have everything in life and I was not after any posts. As a political worker, I have a right to voice my opposition, raise my concerns and I did that," Pilot, credited for Congress' 2018 win, said.
Meanwhile, neither Gehlot nor his loyalists are happy with reconciliation
While Congress is glad the hiccups subsided, Gehlot, who didn't stick to party's stand and didn't mince his words, is upset Pilot is returning to the fold, said reports. When Gehlot raised an objection to the reconciliation, he was told to toe the line. His supporters, who had maintained that rebels must be punished and not be welcomed, are also reportedly unhappy.
"If MLAs are annoyed, it's my responsibility to address that"
Obviously, unwilling to let out that he isn't too glad about the return, Gehlot said today, "If any MLA is annoyed with me, then it is my responsibility to address that. I have kept doing this in the past and will do this now also."