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Rajasthan: No breakthrough in Pilot-Maken meeting

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Rajasthan Congress MLA Sachin Pilot is making persistent efforts to substantiate his claims against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The differences between the two had resulted in a 32-day rebellion that brought the Ashok Gehlot government on the brink of collapse.

Pilot, who along with 19 other rebel supporters returned to the party’s fold after getting an assurance from the Congress high command, is hell-bent to ensure the resolution of his grievances.

Pilot had his second meeting with AICC general secretary Ajay Maken on Tuesday. The meeting lasted for 90 minutes. The rebel leader informed Maken on the political scenario within the Rajasthan Congress and the Ashok Gehlot government.

Political observers feel that while there was nothing new that Pilot could have told Maken. Yet, it showed that Pilot is pursuing his cause with grit and determination. He is in a great hurry to get redressal for himself and his group. Pilot’s effort is basically to get ministerial berths for his loyalists, but Gehlot it seems is not keen on any reshuffle of the cabinet or expansion.

Reasons behind deferring Cabinet expansion

There are some genuine reasons for Gehlot to defer the expansion as the state is heading for the panchayat poll. Also, the state is facing a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. This apart, the three-member committee headed by Ahmed Patel is yet to finish its task. This committee was formed to hear the grievances of the dissidents. While the committee has heard Pilot in Delhi, the other dissidents are yet to appear before it.

No breakthrough achieved in meeting

Political observers in Rajasthan feel that Tuesday’s meeting between Maken and Pilot failed to secure any breakthrough on sensitive issues.

Pilot wants the inclusion of his loyalists in the ministry, particularly the re-induction of the two sacked ministers—Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena. The duo was dropped as ministers during the political crisis in the state.

Pilot also wants his supporters to be included in the PCC executive committee that was dissolved during the political crisis. Notably, Govind Singh Dotasara replaced Pilot as the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president.

Also Read: India’s COVID-19 case tally crosses 50 lakh

Pilot, it is learned, said that he is not keen to get any position in the AICC and is interested to remain in state politics.

Sachin Pilot’s rehabilitation

But rehabilitating Sachin Pilot is a critical issue for the party as Gehlot is not keen to take him back in his Cabinet. Instead, the CM is insisting that the hundred-odd loyalists, including the independent legislators, should be rewarded.

Maken during his meeting with the party workers in Jaipur got different feedbacks. He found that Pilot still commands a good following in the party and the party’s high command cannot ignore him.

Meanwhile, a senior party MLA and a former minister Bharat Singh dropped a bombshell by writing to the chief minister that certain corrupt ministers in his Cabinet should be dropped. Bharat Singh without naming any individual has written to the Chief Minister that such ministers should be dropped immediately.

Political observers also feel that a solution in the near future looks bleak as the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi has gone to the US for a medical check-up. Till they return, no decision on Pilot and his group of dissidents can be taken. Thus, the meeting between Pilot and Maken failed to come to any logical end and the stalemate continues.

 

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