Truce or strategy? Gehlot and Pilot on the same page as Congress eyes victory in next elections


Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi chair a meeting with Rajasthan party leaders to discuss the preparations for the elections in the state, at the party headquarters, in New Delhi on Thursday. Party General Secretary in-charge (Organization) KC Venugopal, party leaders Sachin Pilot and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa are also present (ANI Photo/Ayush Sharma)

“Our organization, ministers all will work together”, says Congress leader Sachin Pilot after meeting at AICC on Rajasthan

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Jaipur  

In an important development on Thursday, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi met leaders from Rajasthan to assess preparations for assembly polls and bring greater cohesion in the state party unit amid differences between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot.

The meeting was attended by Sachin Pilot and several other senior leaders from Rajasthan as the Assembly polls are scheduled to be held later this year. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot joined the meeting through video conferencing.

Rajasthan is among the five states that will go to assembly elections later this year along with Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram.

The Congress leadership has already held strategy meetings for the other poll-bound states.

After the meeting, Congress leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot on Thursday said that the party’s goal is to return to power in the state, adding that party will collectively work together to achieve the objective.

“It was a very meaningful, extensive and important discussion. We discussed all the issues…Our organization, our leaders, our MLAs, and ministers all will work together and as I have always been saying our goal is to form Congress government again in Rajasthan…”, Sachin Pilot told the media following a party meeting on the upcoming Assembly elections at the AICC headquarters. During a press briefing, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said that Congress will fight unitedly, reverse the trend of alternative governments and repeat the Congress government in Rajasthan.

He said, “29 leaders from Rajasthan Congress including the CM and PCC chief participated in this meeting today. All the leaders unanimously decided that Congress can win the Rajasthan elections provided there is unity among Rajasthan Congress. Today, all leaders decided to fight the elections unitedly. On the basis of winning ability, the candidates will be selected. The list of candidates will be announced in the first week of September.”

Furthermore, Venugopal cautioned party members to not discuss internal issues outside the party and said that strict disciplinary action will be taken against those who violate it.

“The party has decided that everyone should follow strict discipline. Any issues are to be discussed within the party, and no one has the freedom to speak about the party’s internal politics outside the party. Strict disciplinary action will be taken against those who violate this”, he added.

Congress has been in power in Rajasthan over the past four-and-half-years and the differences between Gehlot and Pilot have made it harder for Congress to get another term in office in the state. Pilot led a revolt against Gehlot in 2020 and subsequently lost his positions as Deputy Chief Minister and state party chief.

The loyalists of the Chief Minister scuttled a meeting of party legislators last year which the AICC had planned for apparent leadership change in the state as Gehlot was to shift to Delhi as party chief.

Gehlot had then decided to continue as Chief Minister. Piot has accused the government of not taking appropriate action over “corruption” allegations faced by the BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje. He carried out Jan Sangarsh Yatra over his demands against the advice of party leadership.

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