Inaction of Cong bosses over Pilot issue casts shadow on party’s chances

Jaipur, May 12 (IANS)
The Congress is in power in Rajasthan but the high command seems powerless for it seems unable to check the ongoing bickering and infighting within the party in the state.
While former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot is taking out the Jan Aakrosh Padyatra against his own government demanding action against former CM Vasundhara Raje for alleged corruption cases during her tenure, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has also been attacking Pilot quite often.
On Thursday, Gehlot commented on Pilot saying that “Those who do ‘Thari-Mhari’ (Yours, Mine) can never become successful or loyal to the party.”
The statement came on a day Pilot launched the 125-km long “Jan Sangharsh Yatra” from Ajmer to Jaipur to raise the issue of corruption and the question paper leak for state government recruitment exams.
Gehlot and Pilot have been at loggerheads over the chief minister’s post ever since the Congress formed the government in Rajasthan in December 2018. Their tussle for power came into the open in July 2020, when Pilot staged a rebellion demanding a change of leadership in the state.
However, with the intervention of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, things settled down after a committee was formed under Ahmed Patel’s direction. However, no action has been taken by this committee till date.
Gehlot speaking at a Thursday function fired yet another salvo at Pilot saying, “In a democracy, those who take everyone along become successful and those who create factions can never become successful.”
“I have worked my entire life to strengthen the party’s principles and policies with ‘allegiance, honesty, and commitment’. I have worked to ‘lengthen the line instead of shortening it’, he added.
“Be it anyone’s man, I selected everyone at that time with the thought that he is a person from the Congress, the party high command and Sonia Gandhi. I respected and honoured everyone and progressed by winning the hearts of people,” Gehlot said.
Earlier, Gehlot had labelled Pilot as ‘nikamma’, ‘nakara’ and ‘gaddar’, but the latter has avoided the use of such words. However during his padyatra, he is openly questioning the Gehlot government on why a bulldozer wasn’t run over the house of RPSC member Babulal Katara who was the key accused in the paper leak case.
When the bulldozer can run over an agent’s house, why can’t it raze the RPSC’s house. How come demanding action against Raje is indiscipline, he questioned.
As Pilot has been firing a volley of questions at the Gehlot government, Pradesh Congress Committee chief Govind Singh has said that the yatra is a personal event of Pilot and the party has nothing to do with it.
So while Gehlot is hoping to retain power, the factionalism within the party presents a poor picture in front of the voters.
In fact, many ministers and MLAs from time to time have been questioning their own government, leaving the party red-faced.
The present show of strength of Pilot in the form of the Jan Aakrosh Yatra and Gehlot’s fresh salvos have again highlighted the rift between the two leaders.
This has come when the state is getting ready for polls in the next 7 months.
Will the high command take action now or will it prefer sitting quietly as it has been doing since 2020. It has been sending veteran leaders to smoothen the affairs here. They have, however, only been giving dates when Pilot’s issues will be resolved.
But as no action was taken even after the formation of a committee after the 2020 rebellion and even after the September 25 incident when Gehlot’s MLAs boycotted the CLP meeting and called a parallel meeting, things seem to be getting out of hand, said a senior leader.

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