Gujarat Exclusive > National-World > Can Sidhu’s ‘treachery’ clip Sachin Pilot’s wings in Rajasthan?

Can Sidhu’s ‘treachery’ clip Sachin Pilot’s wings in Rajasthan?

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  • Rajasthan is not Punjab, nor is Sachin Pilot another Navjyot Singh Sidhu. So, parallels cannot be drawn between the two

Political Correspondent, Jaipur: When Navjot Singh Sidhu scripted the exit of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, speculations ran rife of Rajasthan seeing change in leadership and of the old guard handing over the baton to the younger leaders, the reference being to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.

Now with Sidhu dealing a shocker by resigning right after the power shift, a wave of relief seems to have passed over the Ashok Gehlot camp. The Rajasthan Chief Minister’s sympathisers believe that the Congress high command will not take any drastic action in Rajasthan after the fiasco in Punjab.

Rajasthan is not Punjab

Despite the parallels being drawn, there is one thing that cannot be ignored. Rajasthan is not Punjab. And, Sachin Pilot is not Navjot Singh Sidhu, nor is Gehlot another Amarinder. The situation in Rajasthan is completely different. Here, it’s a war between perception and reality.

The reality is Congress got back to power due to the grit and determination of Sachin Pilot who toiled hard and captained the team when the guards were completely down.

The perception is that Gehlot is the most popular leader who enjoys the trust of majority of Congress MLAs and if the leadership is changed, the government will fall.

Those who have seen Rajasthan politics from close quarters know that loyalty shifts with power. The once-staunch supporters of Pilot are now among the ‘navratnas’ of Gehlot darbar. And when the power shifts, their loyalties will in all probabilities once again align with the opposite camp.

 

Sachin Pilot is no Sidhu

Sachin Pilot is a born Congressman. His father Rajesh Pilot became the Member of Parliament from Bharatpur on Congress ticket. Sachin was just three then. The senior Pilot went on to hold ministerial positions in various Congress governments before he breathed his last in 2000. Sachin Pilot’s mother, too, had been elected as a Congress MP.

Thus, hailing from a family of staunch Congress supporters, Sachin has never distanced himself from the party he joined, unlike Sidhu who is a BJP turncoat. Though he protested once when he camped in Gurgaon along with his supporting MLAs, it was resentment against CM Ashok Gehlot, not against the party.

During that period, he never spoke against the party or the central leadership. Nor did he badmouth Gehlot who had openly used unparliamentary words against him.

“Opposing anyone within one’s own party in a democratic set-up is not considered a revolt. Pilot went against Gehlot. Though it damaged the party a bit, the high command now has nothing against Pilot,” said a senior Congress functionary.

Can Gehlot afford to avoid Pilot this time?

Time is ticking for Gehlot. The high command has clearly indicated that it is not happy with the affairs in Rajasthan. Gehlot had been successful in warding off Sachin Pilot’s intrusion in his government. But he cannot afford to do so for long. He will have to include the latter’s men in his Cabinet to give some confidence to the central leadership which might consider changes at an opportune time within next six months.

 

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