A day after he was sacked from the Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president posts, Congress leader Sachin Pilot has broken his silence on the Rajasthan political crisis. In an exclusive chat with The Hindu, Mr. Pilot said he will not be switching parties.
Mr. Pilot said that he has “genuine grievances” with the Ashok Gehlot government, and those are yet to be resolved. Tension has been rife between the two leaders after Mr. Pilot was reportedly denied the CM post after the December 2018 Assembly elections.
Here are the latest updates:
Stop interacting with NJP leaders, Surjewala says Pilot
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala calls upon Sachin Pilot and his supporting MLAs to stop accepting the hospitality of Khattar government in Haryana and come back to Jaipur.
Mr. Surjewala says the Congress had already expressed willingness to resolve all issues with Pilot. Since he has said that he will not join the BJP, he should stop speaking through media and come to Jaipur as a member of the Congress family, says Mr. Surjewala.
Congress has given so much to Mr. Pilot in his young age and there is no political personality in any party to be promoted in this manner. Stop interacting with BJP leaders in Haryana and come back to Jaipur, says Mr. Surjewala in a conciliatory note.
Mr. Surjewala was interacting with reporters at the luxury hotel near Jaipur where the Congress MLAs are staying.
We have proof of BJP’s horse-trading attempts: Gehlot
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the Congress had proofs of the BJP’s attempts for horse-trading in Rajasthan during the Rajya Sabha elections, because of which the ruling party’s legislators had to be kept at a hotel for 10 days.
“If we had not done that [last month], the same thing which is happening in Manesar now would have happened back then,” Mr. Gehlot said in an apparent reference to rebel leader Sachin Pilot’s supporters being holed up at a resort in Haryana’s town near Delhi.
Mr. Gehlot launched a scathing attack on his former deputy Sachin Pilot and accused him of hobnobbing with the BJP for toppling the government.
Mr. Gehlot said speaking good English, giving good bytes and being handsome was not everything in politics. “What is inside your heart for the country, your ideology, policies, and commitment… Everything is considered,” he said. – Mohammad Iqbal
AICC dissolves all district and block Congress committees in Rajasthan
A day after removing Sachin Pilot for the state party president post, the All India Congress Committee has dissolved all all district and block Congress committees in Rajasthan.
New committees to be formed soon, said the party’s Rajasthan in charge, Avinash Pande.
Congress doors have not closed for Pilot, says Avinash Pande
The Congress’ doors have not closed for Sachin Pilot, the party’s national general secretary and Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pande has said.
“The party“s doors have not been closed for Pilot. May God give… good sense and he realises his mistake. I pray that he comes out of the elusive trap of BJP,” Mr. Pande said in a tweet.
AICC leaders in-charge of States not doing their job: Veerappa Moily
Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily indicated on Wednesday party general secretaries put in charge of States are not doing their job and called for revamp at the AICC level to strengthen the party.
Asked to comment on the political crisis in Rajasthan, the former Union Minister appeared to back Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and also hinted that rebel leader Sachin Pilot should have patiently waited for his turn.
“These days many of the youngsters are encouraged in the Congress party. But at the same time there is a need for well-tested leadership because you cant just neglect the veterans also,” Mr. Moily told PTI.
My loyalty is to Congress ideology, not any individual: Sanjay Jha
Sanjay Jha, who has been suspended by the Congress for anti-party activities, on Wednesday said he is loyal to the party’s ideology, but his “fidelity is not to any individual or family.”
Jha, who has been critical of the way the Congress handled issues regarding rebel party leader Sachin Pilot, said he remains a Gandhi-Nehruvian idealist.
“My loyalty is to the Congress ideology. My fidelity is not to any individual or family. I remain a Gandhi-Nehruvian idealist (a vanishing breed within Congress). I will continue to raise issues that are fundamental to the resurgence of my party. The battle has just begun,” he tweeted.
MLAs issued notice, asked to respond by Friday
Along with Sachin Pilot, 18 other MLAs have been issued notices and asked to respond to them by Friday, sources said. The notices were issued on Tuesday.
A total of 19 party MLAs, including Pilot, were absent from the CLP meetings.
The party has also issued a gag order, saying no Congress member can communicate with the media without the permission of the newly appointed state unit chief.
Disqualification notices to be sent to Sachin Pilot, other MLAs for not attending CLP meet: Congress
Disqualification notices will be issued by Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi to Sachin Pilot and other MLAs who did not attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting held on Monday and Tuesday, a senior party leader said.
The notices of disqualification will be issued to all such MLAs, including Sachin Pilot, who were absent from the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting through the Speaker of legislative assembly, AICC general secretary Avinash Pande said on Wednesday.
He said the party has filed a petition before the Speaker for dismissal of such MLAs. If replies by the MLAs are not found to be justified, it is up to the Speaker to decide for action, he added. – PTI
Not joining BJP, Sachin Pilot tells The Hindu
I am not joining the BJP, said former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot on Wednesday.
In an exclusive chat with The Hindu, Mr. Pilot said that he will continue to be the Congress MLA from Tonk. He said he has discussed his grievances with party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, but they are yet to be resolved.
“There is a planned effort and propoganda to tarnish my name and image. I have come here with my genuine grievances with Ashok Gehlot Ji’s government,” he said.
“I have not said anything against my party or uttered a word. I have not picked up a fight with my party. I have had conversation with Priyanka ji but that has not led to any resolution,” he added. – Sandeep Phukan
Congress party has initiated the process for disqualification of Sachin Pilot and other MLAs who are supporting him, for their anti-party activities.
A request has been made to the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker to issue notices to them.
– Mohammed Iqbal
Congress general secretary Avinash Pande dissolves RPCC executive, departments, cells
Congress national general secretary and Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pande on Tuesday dissolved the party’s state executive and all departments and cells of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC).
The development comes after Congress cracked down on Sachin Pilot and sacking two loyalists from the State Cabinet. – PTI
Vasundhara Raje’s silence rings out loud
Amid the unfolding, cacophonous political crisis in Rajasthan, the silence of former chief minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje has rung out loud and became a major factor in the BJP’s cautious, wait and watch attitude towards Sachin Pilot’s rebellion against the Congress.
Ms. Raje is reportedly in Dholpur, her traditional stomping ground and has not — not even via a single tweet — commented on the goings-on in the State where she has twice been chief minister. Other BJP leaders from the State — Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, former Union minister P.P. Choudhary and Rajya Sabha MP Om Mathur — have commented, though in measured tones.