Sachin Pilot opens poster war as ‘turncoats’ call meeting

By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, June 22 (IANS)
Amid the ongoing tussle between the camps of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, a new poster war has been triggered by the latter in the desert state.
The Pilot camp has been pasting posters that seek to highlight his struggle and hard work as the state Congress chief before the 2018 Assembly election to help form the Congress government.
The poster war has come at a time when turncoats, who contested the Assembly elections 2018 as Independents and Bahujan Samaj Party candidates and then joined the Congress, have called a meeting on June 23 to chalk out strategies against the Pilot camp. The Pilot camp has been demanding rewards for the Congress workers in the form of political appointments which have been awaited since months.
These turncoat MLAs are 19 in total with 13 Independents and six former BSP MLAs.
Meanwhile, there has been a last minute change in the meeting as six former BSP MLAs decided against participating in it. One of these MLAs, Lakhan Singh Meena said, “We are now a part of the Congress and hence shall attend meetings called by Congress MLAs.”
A day before this meeting, posters came up in Jaipur put up by the Pilot followers showcasing his struggles before the Assembly elections 2018.
The pictures show an injured Pilot during a lathicharge among many others with a slogan “Rajasthan ne dekha hai hum sabne dekha hai (the whole of Rajasthan has seen, we have seen)”.
A few days back, the former BSP MLAs accused Pilot of being a traitor and alleged that he with his MLAs tried to topple the state government a year ago. The Pilot camp in turn questioned their credibility for jumping their party loyalties and termed them outsiders.
Also, BSP state chief Bhagwan Singh termed these six BSP MLAs as traitors who betrayed their own party to join the ruling party.
Congress sources have said that the meeting scheduled on Wednesday is a part of the pressure politics started on behalf of the Gehlot camp. They will chalk out further strategy to send their message to the Congress high command to ensure that any decision regarding the pending political appointments goes in their favour.
The meeting call was taken a few days ago after Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken termed Pilot as a star asset for the party.
Worrying about the development, the Gehlot camp got active and made its G-19 team ready to lead from the front to pressurise the high command to take decisions in their favour, said Congress workers.
With the six former BSP MLAs missing the meeting, the G-19 now has been reduced to G-13.
Meanwhile, Sachin Pilot told IANS, “We are fighting for our workers.
“We want our workers, who took sticks on their heads, to be rewarded for working hard to form the government.”
A worker from the Pilot camp said, “It is totally unjustified to reward those leaders who contested against the Congress during elections and then joined the ruling party. They themselves claimed that they did not want anything in return when they joined the party. Why are they getting distressed now? Why do they want a position now,” he questioned.
As this Gehlot Vs. Pilot tussle continues, a new tussle seems to have been started in the state which is of the ‘real’ Congress workers Vs ‘outsiders’ who joined the Congress ranks and are now termed as turncoats.

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