Pilot to wait to be Rajasthan CM, instead of step-by-step elevation

Kashmir Times. Dated: 10/28/2021 12:14:29 AM

NEW DELHI, Oct 27: Former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot (44) has asked his supporters to join the ministry on an invite from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (70), but without him, a source close to him said. He is looking forward to the Cabinet reshuffle before Diwali as ordained by the party high command.

He has conveyed to former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who has taken in his hands the Rajasthan infight, that he would wait for his turn to be declared the chief minister instead of the step-by- step elevation by joining the Gehlot government now.

The source said Gehlot has conveyed to both Rahul and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, an AICC general secretary who is taking interest in the Rajasthan imbroglio, that he has been already a deputy CM and the PCC president and so it would be odd for him to accept any position except that of the chief minister. He would wait until February or March to be anointed as the chief minister as reportedly assured by the two Gandhis.

The AICC sources here said Gehlot desperately tried to meet Rahul Gandhi on October 16 after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), but he was turned away with a stern message from Ajay Maken, AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan, that Rahul will give him an audience only after he carries out the high command's diktat to rehabilitate his detractors in the Cabinet as also in the top posts in other government bodies.

Rahul does not want to hear any alibis from the chief minister for delaying the reshuffle ordered by the party leadership as early as in the first week of September, the sources said. Gehlot has been avoiding induction of Pilot's men in the cabinet as part of the deal struck over 14 months ago to pull back the government from collapse after the Pilot group rebelled.
Sachin Pilot has kept alive the network of partymen that he had built as the State Congress president for six years from 2014 to July 2020 by remaining in constant touch with the leaders across the state and as such he can activate them to prepare for the Assembly elections in December 2023, only if the reigns are in his hands as the chief minister, a source close to him said.

He said the Gandhis are fully aware of the stern contribution of Pilot in the Congress winning the Assembly elections in 2018 and want him to play the same magic wand in 2023 to get a second term to the party in the state.



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