Sachin Pilot may meet Priyanka Gandhi today, Cong says trying to resolve issues
Sachin Pilot is likely to meet Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday to press for demands that he has said have not been fulfilled even after assurances, reports said. Sachin Pilot, who left for Delhi on Friday, is in the Capital for the second time in less than a year when the young leader rebelled against chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
“It has now been 10 months. I was given to understand that there would be swift action by the committee, but now half of the term is done, and those issues haven’t been resolved. It is unfortunate that so many of the party workers who worked and gave their all for getting us the mandate are not being heard,” Sachin Pilot said.
The meeting is expected in the backdrop of demands for cabinet expansion and political appointments by Pilot’s loyalists. They have been questioning the delay in addressing the issues raised by then deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot against Ashok Gehlot even as a panel set up last year. Earlier this week, Pilot told HT that the Congress high command has failed to deliver on the promises that were made to him when he along with 18 legislators returned to the party after a month-long drama.
Priyanka Gandhi, who played an important role in resolving the political crisis, is working to address the dissent within the ruling Congress and to fulfil promises made to Sachin Pilot, people aware of the matter said. The former deputy chief minister is in touch with Priyanka Gandhi and she has assured him of resolving the issues and asked him to be patient, a Pilot loyalist said on condition of anonymity.
Pilot is also expected to meet Rajasthan Congress in-charge Ajay Maken and general secretary KC Venugopal, the members of the panel, who are yet to submit their report.
Speculations about Pilot’s departure from the party gathered steam after Jitin Prasada, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, switched to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday. However, Pilot has time and again said he will not join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On Friday, he rejected BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s statement that she had spoken to him about joining her party. He added Joshi does not have the courage to speak to him. “Rita Bahuguna Joshi said she spoke to Sachin. She might have spoken to Sachin Tendulkar. She does not have the courage to speak to me,” Pilot said.
HT has reported the Congress’ central leadership was trying to work out a cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan. On Saturday, Congress’ Rajasthan unit president Govind Singh Dotasra said that a cabinet reshuffle will soon take place in the state and asserted there is no problem within the party's state unit. "As told by Ajay Maken Ji (Congress in-charge for Rajasthan), a reshuffle will take place in the state," Dotasra told reporters.
Pilot and his supporters left Jaipur in July last year to camp at a secret location in Haryana, threatening the stability of the Gehlot government. Pilot was removed as Pradesh Congress Committee president, and it was only when the Gandhis intervened and set up a committee under Ajay Maken that he returned to the fold.
There are nine vacancies in the Rajasthan cabinet as there can be 30 ministers but there are only 21 currently.