The Congress has bought peace for the time being between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and senior leader Sachin Pilot to contest the upcoming elections to state Assembly unitedly. The two leaders had a meeting lasting some four hours with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi late on Monday.
Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal said the two leaders have decided to work together peacefully and have left any decision on the party high command. Reports quoting sources from the Pilot camp said the former Deputy CM had agreed to the high command’s point but none of his three demands — action against former CM Vasundhara Raje over corruption, setting right the Rajasthan Public Service Commission and relief to those affected by the cancellation of recruitment exams due to paper leaks — were met.
Besides, the two leaders were spoken to separately by Kharge and Gandhi and not together. Over the last few years, factionalism within the party’s Rajasthan unit has been at the forefront as the Congress tries to ready itself for the Lok Sabha 2024 challenge. Last year, Ashok Gehlot supporters were willing to defy the leadership when talk did the rounds that Gehlot would contest for the Congress chief’s post, which was eventually won by Kharge.
Sachin Pilot had launched a counter-campaign demanding action against the previous Rajasthan government for the paper leaks during BJP rule. Pilot had put the Congress on notice that if no action was taken by the end of this month, then agitations will take place all over the state.
He further added that he had gone on a fast in Jaipur but since nothing happened, he would decide to continue with the Jan Sangharsh Yatra. This threat, if carried out, would be a big setback for the Congress as the state elections are just months away.
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