The Congress, it seems, wants to make the Madhya Pradesh Assembly bye-elections a fight between friends-turned political opponents Sachin Pilot and Jyotoraditya Scindia.
Hoardings of Rajasthan’s former deputy chief minister and Congress leader Sachin Pilot have been erected in several districts of Madhya Pradesh where bye-elections for 28 Assembly seats are due on November 3. Some of these constituencies are in Gwalior, Bhind, Morena and Shivpuri, which have a large number of Gujjar voters.
Hoardings put up by Gujjar community
The Gujjar community have displayed these hoardings as a build-up for the bye-election. Sachin Pilot will actively campaign in these constituencies to woo Gujjar votes for the Congress. These areas are influenced by Jyotiraditya Scindia and Pilot has been chosen for the Congress’ campaign there.
Both Scindia and Pilot have been good friends and when Pilot led a rebel, Scindia sympathised with him. Scindia praised Pilot for leading a rebellion against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. But Congress had pitted Sachin Pilot to campaign against the BJP in Scindia’s area of influence.
Pilot led the rebellion along with 18 Congress MLAs and came back to the party fold on an assurance that his grievances would be redressed. But Pilot and his men are yet to be politically rehabilitated. Yet, Pilot will campaign in 12 Gujjar influenced areas in the bye-election.
Kamal Nath want Sachin Pilot to campaign
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has asked the AICC to send Pilot to campaign to counter Scindia in a dozen constituencies. It is being speculated that apart from influencing Gujjar voter, Pilot will also have an impact on youngsters during the campaign. He is being projected as a youth leader of substance.
Sachin Pilot supporters, by putting up the hoardings, want to draw the attention of the Congress high command. It is said that the Pilot camp has funded the hoardings as a strategy with the help of local youth.
BJP questions Sachin Pilot’s credibility
These youth belong to the Gujjar community. The BJP understands the importance of Pilot and to counter him, the BJP is trying to spread a word that Pilot was ditched by his own party.
The BJP has been stressing that Sachin Pilot sought BJP’s support to overthrow the Ashok Gehlot government. Now, the same Sachin Pilot will campaign against the BJP.
Pilot’s supporters are asking the Congress high command to rehabilitate him if the party wants the Gujjar votes. Political observers feel that Pilot will use the campaign for his own benefit as a deal.
Pilot’s supporters have sent feelers that he be given some position to enable him to campaign effectively. But Ashok Gehlot is not keen to give Pilot or his supporters any position in the government.
Meanwhile, Ashok Gehlot will himself be campaigning for the party in the bye-elections.
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