Rajasthan peace deal done, 4 big reasons why Congress brought Sachin Pilot back into the fold
According to Hindustan Times’ sister publication Hindustan, Congress felt Pilot’s need not just for elections in Rajasthan but Lok Sabha polls too.Updated: Aug 12, 2020 17:15 IST
The month-long political crisis in Rajasthan is finally over with rebel Sachin Pilot returning to the Congress fold. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, against whom Pilot had rebelled, is also making conciliatory gestures promising to listen to the grievances that the Pilot camp had.
The breakthrough came after Pilot met with the Congress top brass, including former party president Rahul Gandhi and his sister and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
It was Priyanka who finally found a middle ground between Gehlot and Pilot. But the latter’s return is not without a political gameplan.
According to Hindustan Times’ sister publication Hindustan, Congress felt Pilot’s need not just for elections in Rajasthan but Lok Sabha polls too. Also, Priyanka is preparing the ground for 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. At least 55 seats in the state are dominated by the Gujjar community, where Pilot holds considerable sway. If Pilot had quit the Congress, the party would have suffered in these pockets.
Apart from this, the community can also decide the fortunes of the elections in 14 seats in Madhya Pradesh. And if their numbers are included in Haryana, Delhi and other parts of northern India, Gujjars are in a strong position in many constituencies.
One of the reasons for Congress’ win in Rajasthan in the 2018 Assembly elections was the support it got from Gujjars who constitute seven per cent of the votebank. When Priyanka realised Pilot’s hold on the community - not just in Rajasthan but the entire country - she immediately got down to ironing out the differences between him and Gehlot reported Hindustan.
Another important thing which worked in Pilot’s favour was the pressure being built from the young brigade of the Congress. According to Hindustan, young leaders like Deepender Hooda and Jitendra Singh told the top leaders of the party that Pilot’s ouster could lead to exodus of young leaders from Congress.
The Abdullah family from Jammu and Kashmir also played a crucial role in dousing the fire, Hindustan reported. Farooq Abdullah and son Omar, who have good relations with the Gandhi family, started lobbying for Pilot through Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel and the efforts soon bore fruit.
Also, a section within the Congress is not happy with Gehlot. When he was a general secretary and based in Delhi, many of his ‘victims’ from that time conveyed to the Gandhis that too much reliance on Gehlot could cost Congress a lot in Rajasthan, according to Hindustan.