‘Our response to Kota deaths could have been more humane’: Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot
Though Pilot was responsible for resounding success in the 2018 and was touted to be the CM, he is currently happy with his role as a deputy CM.Updated: Jan 09, 2020 11:55 IST
Rajasthan’s deputy CM Sachin Pilot spoke to Rakesh Goswami about his six-year tenure as the state party chief, and recent deaths of infants at a Kota hospital that provoked outrage nationally. Edited experts:
How do you look back on your six-year organisational term?
When I started, we had just been reduced to 21 seats in a 200-member House. It was a challenging time. We aggressively started our campaign right in the beginning, and over the years, we had many successes, in the by-elections in Alwar, Ajmer and Mandalgarh. The party won almost every by-election even when the BJP was in power. I have been able to deliver successes only because of the work and support of the workers.
Did you feel bad that you were not considered for the CM’s post despite the assembly results?
I like to look ahead. What happened is done. When we won the elections, all the MLAs left the decision of who will be the CM to the Congress leadership. I was tasked with the deputy CM’s job and I have diligently tried to perform with utmost sincerity.
You are seen to be outspoken on many issues; most recently over infant deaths in Kota...
I think the people and voters, who have elected you, judge you not so much by an event or a tragedy, but more by the response that you provide. As an elected government, I think our response should have been and could have been much more humane... more empathy, compassion and acceptance of the fact that yes infants and babies have died and we should resolve that we will never let that be repeated. We should have taken urgent and comforting steps to give people confidence that there will be no repetition of the tragedy.
You met the families of the kids. Do you think the government should have done more?
I am not going to comment on what others did or did not do… when I was in the Opposition and there was a tragedy or a death, I used to make it a point to go and visit those families, to share their sorrows… just because I am in the government now does not mean I stop doing that.
CM Ashok Gehlot was criticised for his response to the deaths. Would you like to say anything to him?
I will refrain from commenting upon what the CM should have done... I have said this before that as a government our response was perhaps inadequate in terms of being sensitive enough to realise what death of infants means to their families and I will stop there… not comment on individuals.