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Rajasthan: Political unease in Pilot camp; questions raised over delay in action a year after rebellion against Gehlot

The development comes close on the heels of Jitin Prasada deserting the Congress to join the BJP and in the backdrop of a three-member Congress panel trying to resolve the rebellion against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

June 11, 2021 / 01:28 PM IST
Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot

Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot

A group of Rajasthan Congress lawmakers, loyal to former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, have expressed displeasure over the delay in fulfilling promises in the agreement agreed upon with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot after the last year’s rebellion.

At least six MLA’s met Pilot at his residence in Jaipur on June 10 and questioned the delay by the panel of All India Congress Committee to arrive at an amicable solution.

READ: Explained | Jitin Prasada’s defection: What it means for Congress, BJP ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls

The lawmakers complained why the Congress high command cannot hear Pilot the way it is handling cricket-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu in Punjab.

"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," said Ved Prakash Solanki, the MLA from Chaksu was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

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The development comes close on the heels of Jitin Prasada deserting the Congress to join the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and in the backdrop of a three-member panel set up by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi trying to resolve the rebellion against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Navjot Singh Sidhu was heard in Punjab within 10 days, but even after 10 months in Rajasthan, the issues raised by Pilot have not been resolved. When Sidhu can be heard in Punjab in 10 days, why not Pilot?" asked Solanki

READ: Amarinder Singh fit to remain Congress captain in Punjab; Navjot Singh Sidhu should be accommodated: Congress panel to Sonia Gandhi

The Pilot camp lawmakers have been demanding the induction of new ministers in Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's cabinet, apart from other political appointments, as promised at the time of rebellion last year.

Last year on July 2, Sachin Pilot, then the Deputy CM had declared open rebellion, claiming that the Ashok Gehlot government is in minority now as over 30 MLAs from Congress are supporting him.  The rebellion was then contained after Congress set up a committee to resolve the crisis only to have surfaced again nearly a year later with even Sachin Pilot expressing displeasure over the lack of action.

“It has now been 10 months. I was given to understand that there would be swift action by the committee, but now half of the term is done, and those issues haven’t been resolved. It is unfortunate that so many of the party workers who worked and gave their all for getting us the mandate are not being heard,” Pilot told Hindustan Times this week.

Also, read: Rajasthan: Congress MLA close to Sachin Pilot sends his resignation to assembly speaker

Among the possible solutions was the induction of new ministers from the Pilot camp in the Gehlot cabinet. There are nine vacancies in the cabinet which can have a maximum of 30 members. Of the nine vacancies, three were created when Pilot supporters were sacked last year for the rebellion. But sources said that there are 35 aspirants for these nine berths as Pilot wants more ministers in the cabinet while Gehlot wants more independents in his cabinet.

Sources said that Gehlot has in the past few weeks been able to win over a group of rebel MLAs who have been loyal to Pilot.

(With PTI inputs)



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Gulam Jeelani is a journalist with over 11 years of reporting experience. Based in New Delhi, he covers politics and governance for Moneycontrol.
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