At a time when the Congress and BJP are engaged in a tug of war over three seats which will go for by-polls on April 17, the absence of Sachin Pilot from the Rajasthan stage has become a much discussed topic in political circles.
Pilot was last seen on the Rajasthan political stage on March 30 when the candidates filed their nominations. Ever since, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s camp has been dominating the stage taking all strategic decisions while former Deputy CM Pilot’s camp is to be seen nowhere.
When Pilot’s office was asked whether any schedule for campaigning has been released, the officials concerned said they were clueless about it.
They informed that Pilot was in Delhi at the time of filing of this report.
Pilot did not take any calls, however, his team said that his plan to travel to Jaipur on Tuesday has been cancelled.
Pilot was actively campaigning in Assam and Kerala a few days back. However, his absence in Rajasthan has now become a hot topic of discussion as he campaigned in Kerala on Thursday and since then has had no such engagements.
Sushil Asopa, Ex-Secretary Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee, says, “There is no point distancing Pilot from Rajasthan politics as he is the man who toiled for 5 years to form a government and surprisingly, all those who were given tickets chose Gehlot as the CM face which is a grave injustice to him (Pilot).”
The state Congress, during nominations, showed a united face as CM Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot, PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasara and Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken addressed nomination rallies together in three districts. Earlier too, the team shared their smiling picture while going in a helicopter together for a rally.
However, a few days later, things seem to have changed as the Congress in its star list released recently accommodated only one MLA from the Pilot camp — Mukesh Bhakar.
Surprisingly, no other supporter of Pilot has been accommodated in the list despite the fact that two seats Rajsamand and Sahada have sufficient Gujjar votes to influence the results. Pilot is a leader of the Gujjar community.
However, Gujjar elders from the Gehlot camp including state minister Ashok Chandna, MLA Jitendra Singh, Shakuntala Rawat, Rajendra Bidhudi among others, have been given the upper hand.
Veteran leader Dharmendra Rathore, considered to be close to Ashok Gehlot, has also been included in the list at a time when he holds no place in the organisation nor any ministry, leaving many senior leaders of the party agitated for they have not been given any due place in these elections.
A Pilot camp MLA said, “Our leader Pilot is working like a disciplined soldier and is going for campaigning whereever he is asked to. But then, is he getting the due respect he deserves, there is a limit. Despite being in Government, he has no say even at a time when he spent 5 years struggling to form the government. We were promised a lot by the high command but nothing is being done so we will have to think afresh on our stand,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pilot’s followers have been tweeting and retweeting in favour of their leader.
Asopa recently tweeted, “Sachin Pilot is a leader who can make any father proud with his deeds. He has created a place in the hearts of the people of the country with his personality, through his language, speech, patience, style and struggle.”
The tweet was retweeted by MLA Vishvendra Singh who was stripped of his cabinet portfolio for supporting Pilot during the rebellion.
So while Gehlot, known as a magician, creates an environment depicting all his well, the ground reality tells a different story elaborating on the fact that ‘All is not well’ in the Congress camp. (IANS)