Congress leadership in touch with Sachin Pilot, says Ajay Maken
Congress leader Ajay Maken on Friday said the party’s leadership was in touch with Sachin Pilot while dismissing reports that senior leaders have avoided meeting the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister as baseless talk. He called Pilot, who was removed as the deputy chief minister and the state party chief after he rebelled against chief minister Ashok Gehlot last year, an asset and a star campaigner.
Maken said Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who Pilot is in touch with, has been out of Delhi for the last 10 days. He added Pilot is also in constant talks with him and another top leader K C Venugopal. “It is not possible that he (Pilot) has sought time for meetings and did not get it.”
The comments of Maken, who is Rajasthan’s Congress in charge, came amid calls from the Pilot camp for fulfilling promises made to the former deputy chief minister after he returned to the party’s fold following his rebellion.
Priyanka Gandhi played an important role in resolving the political crisis when Pilot rebelled. There have been demands for cabinet expansion and political appointments for Pilot’s loyalists.
Pilot last week expressed his displeasure over the lack of action even as a committee, which includes Maken, was formed last year to address the issues he raised against Gehlot. HT has reported the central leadership of the Congress was trying to work out a cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan.
Maken said the work is in on to fill the vacant nine cabinet berths and to make political appointments. “I am speaking to the chief minister, state party chief, and other leaders for the appointments.”
He added they were talking to everyone. “...after the political crisis last year, our effort is that every section, seniority, future of Congress, caste and regional equations are considered,” he said when asked about the expansion and other appointments.
Maken urged lawmakers against going public with their grievances. “Every lawmaker should understand the Congress was born out of sacrifice.” He added discipline will be considered whenever political appointments and cabinet expansion are done.
Maken insisted all is well in Rajasthan Congress. “We fought the two waves of Covid-19 in the finest manner. The performance of the state was excellent in comparison to other states; be it the vaccination, infection or the death rate.”