Congress top brass has finally decided to step-in to end the infighting between Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and party colleague Sachin Pilot.
The report in The Indian Express said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior party leader Rahul Gandhi held meetings with Gehlot and Pilot – separately as well as together – AICC general secretary in charge of organisation K C Venugopal announced that both the leaders have agreed “to go together” and fight the upcoming Assembly elections unitedly.
It said: “Kharge, Gandhi, Venugopal and AICC in charge of Rajasthan Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa met Gehlot first. The discussion went on for nearly two hours. Pilot reached Kharge’s 10, Rajaji Marg residence two hours later – around 8 pm – and the discussions continued for two more hours. The leaders emerged shortly after 10 pm and spoke to the media but did not reveal much despite claiming that there was an agreement.”
“In view of the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly election, Congress president (Kharge) and Rahul Gandhi had a detailed four-hour-long discussion with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. In this discussion, we have decided to fight the election unitedly. Both of them are in agreement that the Congress party has to go together and definitely we will win elections in Rajasthan. It is very clear that Rajasthan is going to be a strong state for the Congress party. We are going to win. Therefore, both the leaders unitedly and unanimously agreed to the proposal…,” Venugopal was quoted in the report as having said.
“Gehlot and Pilot stood on either side but did not speak,” it said.
Venugopal as per the report also said: “Both of them have left it to the high command. The high command will take the decision. Don’t worry about that. We decided that both the leaders have agreed to go together and it will be a joint fight against the BJP and we will win the state.”
“That the high command could not announce details of the peace formula signal that there are still points of disagreement. The party also released photographs of the meeting where all six – Kharge, Gandhi, Gehlot, Pilot, Venugopal and Randhawa – were sitting together in an attempt to show an united face,” it said.
“Hours before the meeting, Gehlot stirred the pot, saying there is no tradition in the Congress to offer any position to any leader or worker to pacify him created a stir,” it added.
“I have not heard such a thing before…there is no such tradition in the Congress where any leader demands something and the party high command offers to give that position. We have not heard of such a formula ever,” Gehlot was quoted in the report as having said.
“The high command is strong even today. Such a situation has not come when it offers any leader a post of his choice to pacify him. Such a thing has not happened before and will not happen in the future. The Congress party and the high command is very strong and no leader or worker has the courage to demand any position. It does not happen like that,” Gehlot was quoted as having said.
The meeting comes days after Pilot took out a five-day yatra from Ajmer to Jaipur demanding a high-level inquiry into alleged corruption cases against the Raje government, disbanding of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission and its reconstitution backed by a new law and compensation for “lakhs of students”, who have suffered economically due to question paper leaks, it mentioned.
“In fact, he had given a 15-day ultimatum to the Gehlot government to act on his demands,” it stated.