Sachin Pilot, refuting the claims of him joining the BJP, said that Ritu Bahuguna Joshi doesn’t have the “courage to speak” to him
Former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot refuted the claims made by BJP leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi that she spoke to him about joining the saffron camp, and joked that she “might have spoken to Sachin Tendulkar”.
Pilot said that Joshi, who had switched to the BJP ahead of the 2017 UP Assembly polls, doesn’t have the “courage to speak” to him. He made the remark during a protest organised by the Congress in Jaipur against a fuel price hike.
After former Congress leader Jitin Prasada joined the BJP this week, recent reports claimed that the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister is discontented with the Congress leadership, and is planning to jump the ship. Joshi’s comments added momentum to those speculations.
Pilot had openly revolted against the leadership of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot in July last year, resulting in a political crisis in the state, which saw Pilot and 18 MLAs camped in Delhi and Haryana for a month.
Later, Pilot was removed as the state’s deputy chief minister and Rajasthan Congress president. The party high command assured Pilot of resolving the issues raised by him and had formed a committee to look into them. However, it would appear the issues raised by the Congress MLA have remained.
Pilot had recently said that there is no reason for further delay by the committee in taking the requisite action in matters such as political appointments and cabinet expansion, according to The Indian Express.
A report in News18 had said that MLAs of the Pilot camp had met him at his Delhi residence on Thursday. Former minister Vishvendra Singh held a one-on-one meeting, while Ved Prakash Solanki, Mukhesh Bhakar, Ramniwas Gawria and Rakesh Pareek met him later. They discussed appointment and cabinet expansion and demanded decentralisation of governance in Congress.
“All of us are raising our voice for the strength of the party. Those who question our allegiance to the Congress are not well-wishers of the party,” Solanki, the Chaksu MLA, told reporters.
Rumblings were also witnessed within the Congress in the recent past in its Punjab unit when trouble surfaced between senior party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
In response, a three-member panel set up by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Solanki had complained that while Rajasthan leaders had been waiting for a solution for 10 months, Sidhu’s demands were addressed in 10 days.
Meanwhile, reports claimed that Gehlot held low-profile meetings with some rebel MLAs and has been “reviewing the progress of development work” in their respective constituencies and other matters, according to The Economic Timescausing some of the Pilot loyalists to warm up to the chief minister.
With inputs from PTI