Sachin Pilot asks Congress for Rajasthan CM post 'without delay'
Rajasthan Congress leader Sachin Pilot has reportedly asked interim party chief Sonia Gandhi to make him the chief minister "without any delay," according to NDTV. This comes ahead of the party's "Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir" in Udaipur from May 13-15 to discuss organizational changes and other issues. Notably, the election to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly is still more than a year away in 2023.
- Tensions between Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have been simmering for a while now with the latter eyeing the CM's chair.
- In 2020, the Congress government in Rajasthan faced a huge setback after Sachin Pilot and 19 other MLAs revolted against Gehlot.
- After a month-long drama, the Pilot camp returned to the party, but he was removed from the deputy CM's post.
Now, Pilot has reportedly told Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra that if the party delays any decision, it will lose power in the state. He is said to have cited Punjab's example, where the last-minute appointment of Charanjit Singh Channi as the chief minister proved to be a debacle. NDTV reported that Pilot has held three meetings with the Gandhis in recent weeks.
After meeting Sonia Gandhi last week, Pilot said that they discussed the road ahead and how they should form the government once again. "I have really worked hard and the party should look at the way ahead," he reportedly said. He apparently made it clear that he would like to focus on his state and would play his part in any role, NDTV reported.
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor declining Congress' offer to join the party on Tuesday has reportedly come as a relief for Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot. The New Indian Express quoted sources as saying that Kishor favored giving prominence to young leaders. The Gehlot camp reportedly feared that Kishor would suggest the party high command to bring in leadership changes in favor of Pilot.
Rajasthan minister Subhash Garg—who is considered close to Gehlot—notably tweeted saying that Kishor is a businessman and not an advisor. However, Gehlot, whom Sonia Gandhi and most MLAs favor, has proven that he will go the extra mile to retain power.
The Congress had reportedly offered Pilot a national post as an All India Congress Committee General Secretary, similar to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. However, he declined the offer as he wishes to remain focused in Rajasthan where his supporters are. Pilot was then asked to wait until the 2023 Rajasthan elections for a resolution, sources told NDTV.