Cong’s rumblings grow as Pilot gets support from party leaders
All India Congress Committee general secretary Bhanwar Jitendra Singh on Wednesday came out in support of former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, and said the promises made to him should be fulfilled.
Singh’s comments came days after Pilot expressed his disappointment on the failure of the committee constituted by the party high command to address the issues he raised last year.
Singh, a former member of Parliament from Alwar, told a newspaper: “Whatever talks had happened between the (Congress) high command and in-charge general secretary should be fulfilled. I believe there is nothing wrong if he has raised an issue. If some issue is unresolved, then it can be raised. In Congress, everyone is free to speak.”
When asked if Pilot and his supporters were demanding a change of chief minister or their mainstreaming, Singh said, “I believe there is nothing about the chief minister, but they may have put forward issues related to party workers and legislators.”
In July last year, Pilot, then deputy chief minister and 18 lawmakers supporting him caused a stir by rebelling against chief minister Ashok Gehlot. The Congress government in Rajasthan looked shaky for a while, there were reports that Pilot would either join the Bharatiya Janata Party or form his own outfit, but eventually, following the intervention of the Gandhis, the issue was settled, although Pilot was not reappointed deputy CM. As part of the peace deal, the Congress appointed a committee comprising of KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel and Ajay Maken to look into the issues raised by Pilot and his supporters.
The BJP was quick to comment on the development. Rajendra Rathore, the deputy leader of opposition in the Rajasthan assembly, took to microblogging platform Twitter to say, “Hard work pays off, although it may take time. The Congress government exists only as a result of the hard work of Sachin Pilot — today, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh has said.”
In another tweet in Hindi, Rathore said, “Dozens of Congress MLAs have raised their voices against the working style of the present government. I don’t know what will happen when…”
Rathore made similar comments on Tuesday too who lashed out at the BJP leaders for trying to take advantage of the situation by highlighting differences in Congress. “Instead of making useless statements, the BJP leaders should seriously consider their position. The infighting is so dominant in BJP that they are unable to play the role of opposition. The public will give them a befitting reply as because of their failed policies the country is facing a crisis,” Pilot tweeted.
Political analyst Manish Godha, commenting on the current development in Rajasthan Congress, said Pilot appeared to have been silent as the state and the country navigated the Covid-19 storm, and that now, with the second wave of the pandemic ebbing, he has voiced his concerns.
Besides, with the turmoil in the Punjab Congress that the party has been actively working to resolve, Pilot may have thought that now is a good time to make the party high command come good on his promises to him, Godha added.
In Punjab, the Congress is trying to work out differences between chief minister Amarinder Singh and dissidents including Navjot Singh Sidhu.