Congress blinks, softens stand on rebel Sachin Pilot; helpless leadership forced to meet him


The Congress on Monday had to soften its stand on the rebel leader Sachin Pilot as party leader Rahul Gandhi was forced to hold closed-door talks with him at his Tuglaq Lane residence. After hours of speculations on Monday, the party finally issued a statement confirming the news of Pilot’s meeting with Gandhi.

The statement signed by KC Venugopal, AICC General Secretary Incharge, Organisation, read, “Shri Sachin Pilot has met with former Congress President Shri. Rahul Gandhi and expressed his grievances in detail. They have had a frank, open and conclusive discussion. Shri Sachin Pilot has committed to working in the interest of the Congress party and the Congress government in Rajasthan.”

Venugopal added, “Following this meeting, Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi has decided that the AICC will constitute a three-member committee to address the issues raised by Shri Sachin Pilot & the aggrieved MLA and arrive at an appropriate resolution thereof.”

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi posing for camera with Sachin Pilot and Ahmed Patel

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Gandhi, Pilot said, “Since past some time some MLAs were in Delhi, there were some issues which we wanted to highlight. I did that. 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 added, “Several things were said, I heard a lot of things. I was surprised by a few things that were said. I think we should always maintain restraint and humility. There is no place for personal malice in politics. We had formed govt in Rajasthan after 5 years of hard work.”

The development comes just days before Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was expected to prove his majority in the assembly. Whilst the Congress may breathe a sigh of relief on having averted the crisis, albeit temporarily, experts believe that the party has committed a huge blunder by softening its stand towards someone, who had given ample indications on joining hands with the BJP to topple a government, where he held the post of Deputy Chief Minister.

Pilot had rebelled against his government demanding Gehlot’s removal as the state’s chief minister. He had left Rajasthan with 18 MLAs and taken refuge in a resort in Haryana, a state ruled by the BJP. A special team of the Rajasthan Police had traveled to his resort to question some MLAs, who were caught on tape trying to strike a deal with the BJP to topple the Gehlot government, but they were stopped by the Haryana Police to meet them.