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Sachin Pilot backs Rahul Gandhi's elevation as Congress chief

Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot has said that Rahul Gandhi should take over as party president soon.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2017 15:22 IST
Rahul Gandhi,Sachin Pilot,Congress
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at Parliament House on the opening day of the monsoon session. (Arvind Yadav/ HT Photo)

Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot has said that Rahul Gandhi should take over as party president soon and Sonia Gandhi should remain the parliamentary party head to guide the organisation.

Pilot feels that the Congress vice president has been able to energise the party after the rout in the Lok Sabha elections and has been leading it from the front by taking on the ruling BJP inside and outside Parliament.

"Rahul Gandhi should take charge soon (as party president)," he told PTI while insisting that it was his personal view and the Congress Working Committee will take a call on Rahul's elevation.

"It will be collective decision of the party," he said.

Pilot, who was handpicked by Rahul to lead the Rajasthan unit after it was decimated in both Assembly as well as Lok Sabha polls, emphasised that Sonia Gandhi will continue to be the "guiding force" for the party.

He said Rahul's strategy is to build the party in the states so that it regains its strength by next election in 2019 for a comeback at the Centre. He also rejected the charge that the Congress was being "obstructionist" by stalling Parliament, saying it was the main opposition party's duty to highlight BJP leaders' alleged involvement in Lalit Modi issue and Vyapam scam.

"Just because you have got a majority does it mean that you have got a blank cheque to do as you wish?" he said, attacking the Narendra Modi government over its "stubbornness" on the land bill and "failure" to reach out to the opposition.

He said Congress does not need a certificate from BJP on reforms and claimed that the saffron party had blocked Parliament over "smaller" issues when it was in the opposition.

"Obstruction is not something we want to do but it is the government's responsibility to run Parliament. They did not even make efforts to be seen to be reaching out to the opposition. That spirit is lacking," Pilot said.

Asked about finance minister Arun Jaitley's criticism of the Rajya Sabha, where Congress-led opposition outnumbers the BJP-led NDA, for vetoing pro-reform legislations passed by the Lok Sabha, he shot back, "You cannot change the rules of the game because you do not like it. You cannot wish away the Rajya Sabha because it is inconvenient...."

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pilot said he did not utter a single word over Vyapam scam and Lalit Modi row while he spent his time coining slogans.

"The first one or two years, every government has a good run. But people have already begun saying about this government that it would fail to fulfil its promises," he said.

"Blaming the past governments for today's problems will not help you. Blaming the opposition for your problems will not help you. It will not give you results," he said.

First Published: Aug 26, 2015 14:47 IST