Fighting for self-respect, not posts, say Pilot supporters
The statement was issued through Pilot’s official WhatsApp group and signed by Congress leaders Vishvender Singh, Ramesh Meena and Deepender Shekhawat.Updated: Jul 15, 2020 10:39 IST
Before the Congress removed Sachin Pilot as the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and president of the state party unit on Tuesday, three senior Congress leaders, who are with Pilot in Delhi, have said they are fighting to protect their dignity.
In a message circulated by the Pilot camp on WhatsApp, they said, “We have for years worked with dedication, devotion and service towards the party. And we are taking a stand to protect our dignity and self-respect at a time when our leader is threatened with notices from the SOG under the charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy.”
The statement was issued through Pilot’s official WhatsApp group and signed by Congress leaders Vishvender Singh, Ramesh Meena and Deepender Shekhawat.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot removed Pilot, Singh and Meena from the cabinet, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala announced after the second meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).
Singh and Meena were cabinet ministers and Shekhawat is a former speaker. Singh was the tourism minister and Meena held the food and civil supplies portfolio.
Pilot skipped the second CLP meeting again. A resolution was passed in the CLP meeting to take action against Pilot and other rebel legislators who did not attend the meeting.
“This is unprecedented in Indian democracy and the Congress party, for which we have toiled with sweat and blood. Under the leadership of Sachin Pilot we have made every effort in the past 6 years to strengthen the party and bring it to power in Rajasthan at a time when it had been reduced to an insignificant number in the state assembly,” Pilot’s supports said.
“Public humiliation of our leader Pilot is something that is totally unacceptable to us, and those responsible for meeting out this treatment need to be made accountable,” the statement said. “We are seeking to restore our self-respect and are not clamouring for any posts and positions contrary to false reports in the media. We have been senior members of the party for many years and have held many positions within the party and government and are not lured by inducements.”
The face-off between Pilot and Gehlot came to the fore after Rajasthan Police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) sent notices to the former and other leaders in connection with alleged attempts to topple Congress government in the state. The notices stated that the SOG had urged the leaders to provide a suitable date and time for recording their respective statements.
Pilot then left the state along with his 16 MLAs. He has claimed that the Gehlot government is in minority as 30 lawmakers are with him.