Truce in Rajasthan: Sachin Pilot Back, Panel to Resolve Issues
Pilot said that he has “no desire for a post” and that his actions were only in the party’s interest.
After a marathon of meetings with Congress top leadership including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal, former Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot and the Congress top leadership on Monday, 10 August declared a truce, ending the over month-long political upheaval in the state.
After meeting with Rahul Gandhi at his residence in Delhi earlier in the day, a discussion that the Congress said was ‘frank and conclusive’, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi ordered for a 3-member AICC committee to be formed to address concerns of Pilot and his camp.
While there is still no clarity whether there has been any reconciliation with CM Ashok Gehlor or whether Pilot will be reinstated as the Deputy CM, Pilot said that he has “no desire for a post” and that his actions were only in the party’s interest.
Here’s how the series of events and meetings went through the day:
Meeting With Rahul
Pilot met Rahul Gandhi for the first time since he and 18 other MLAs rebelled against their own government in the state.
“Sachin Pilot met with ex-Congress President Rahul Gandhi and expressed his grievances in detail. They had a frank, open and conclusive discussion. Sachin Pilot has committed to working in interest of Congress party and the Congress government in Rajasthan,” ANI quoted senior Congress leader and AICC general secretary KC Venugopal as saying.
Pilot in the meeting reportedly explained the circumstances in which he took the decision and said that he did nothing against the Congress and that he was only opposing Ashok Gehlot, according to ANI.
3-Member Committee to Address Pilot’s Concerns
Soon after the meet, Venugopal said that a 3-member panel will address the concerns of Pilot and other rebel MLAs.
“Following this meeting, Congress President Sonia Gandhi decided that the AICC will constitute a three-member committee to address the issues raised by Sachin Pilot and the aggrieved MLAs and arrive at an appropriate resolution thereof,” Venugopal said.
Late Night Meet of Pilot, Rebel MLAs with Priyanka, Others
After meeting Rahul Gandhi earlier in the day, Pilot, along with the MLAs supporting him met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Patel and Venugopal in Delhi later in the night.
“Since past some time, some MLAs were in Delhi, there were some issues which we wanted to highlight. I did that,” he told the media after the meet.
‘Welcome Formation of AICC Panel, No Desire for Post’: Pilot
Pilot said that the rebellion was always a matter of principles and that he has no desire for any post in the party or otherwise.
“I'd been saying since beginning that all these things were based on principle. I always thought these things are essential to be raised in party's interest,” he said, as quoted by ANI.
“Sonia Gandhi Ji heard all our concerns and the governance issues that we raised. Formation of the 3-member committee by the Congress President is a welcome step. I think all the issues will be resolved,” he added.
“Party gives us post and can also take it back. I have no desire for any post but I wanted our self-respect to remain intact. I have contributed to the party for 18-20 years now. We have always attempted to ensure the participation of people who worked hard to form the government,” Pilot said.
Both Gehlot, Pilot are Happy: Venugopal
Congreee leader KC Venugopal told ANI that both Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot are happy after Pilot’s meeting with Rahul Gandhi and slammed the BJP for indulging into horse-trading of MLAs.
“Mr Pilot is also happy and our Chief Minister is also happy,” he said.
“This is a direct slap on BJP's anti-democratic face. They are the people doing such horse-trading and sabotaging democratically elected government. This is actually a message to BJP's wrong-doings,” he added.
Truce Days Ahead of Rajasthan Assembly
The development comes just four days ahead of the Assembly session of Rajasthan that CM Ashok Gehlot managed to get a nod for from the Governor after weeks of standoff.
Gehlot was expected to push for proving his majority on the floor of the House that could have come as a big blow to the Pilot camp.
Pilot, along with 18 other MLAs, rebelled against their own government last month. While Gehlot has been claiming that Pilot engineered an unsuccessful coup in cahoots with the BJP, the MLAs supporting Pilot have said that they never intended to resign from the party.
After the Pilot camp skipped two successive party meets following the rebellion, Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi disqualified them for allegedly conspiring the downfall of their own government. The decision was challenged by Pilot in the Rajasthan High Court.
After the HC asked Joshi to maintain status quo, he moved SC challenging HC’s authority to do so. The case is currently being heard by the apex court.
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