It seems Sachin Pilot, who led the rebellion against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, has become successful in convincing the Congress high command that the grievances of his and his supporter MLAs need to be addressed.
When Sonia Gandhi announced a three-member committee to hear the grievances of Sachin Pilot, many thought it to be another gimmick to give solace to the dissidents. But Sachin Pilot, who is camping in Delhi, has been able to assert that he should be heard without loss of time.
Pilot had returned to the Congress’ fold after over a month-long battle on the condition that his grievances would have to be heard and resolved. His and his MLAs support was essential for the Congress to wade through the trust vote crisis.
Pilot in Delhi
Now, Pilot is in Delhi to testify before the committee and open out on why he picked up cudgels against Gehlot. Once it was thought that the committee was nothing, but eyewash. However, an assertive Pilot proved it wrong.
He is hell-bent to change the views of the party’s high command. The way Pilot is handling his own affair, his camp is confident that he would return triumphant.
The three-member committee has Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal as the organisation general secretary. It also has Ajay Maken, the newly appointed general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan.
Venugopal has been involved with the affairs of the state ever since the 2018 Assembly elections. He was largely responsible for again making Gehlot the chief minister.
Later, Gehlot obliged him by making him as the Rajya Sabha member from Jaipur. Maken is Rahul Gandhi’s own man and in 2013 Assembly elections, he was the chairman of the party’s screening committee.
No Cabinet expansion
Sachin Pilot will be in Delhi and it is expected that he would testify before the committee. The other dissidents will depose before the committee in Jaipur. Till then, Gehlot would not be able to expand his Cabinet. Any reshuffle or expansion of the Cabinet would be done only after Pilot and his group is given a patient hearing.
Ahmed Patel will have to work independently
Ahmed Patel, who is a close confidante of Gehlot, will have to shed his soft corner for the CM. He will have to work independently as the Gandhis are keen to give Pilot a fair treatment.
Gandhis brought Pilot back in the party fold with the sole intention of saving the Congress government and they would ensure that Pilot gets his honourable place in the government. Gehlot’s problem is that he does not like sharing power, but now he will have to mend his ways.
Tight rope walk for Gehlot
But, Gehlot has his own problems. He has 100 loyalists on one side and 19 dissidents on the other side. He will have to balance between the two and this will test his mettle in the coming weeks. Ashok Gehlot understands that Pilot has the blessings of the Gandhis. He knows that he will have to adjust Pilot in the power game.
While Pilot is assured of getting a fair deal from the party’s high command, it would be walking on the tight rope for Gehlot.
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