Rumours speculations about Congress leader Sachin Pilot joining the BJP have started circulating yet again. Rajasthan BJP President Satish Poonia recently he did not categorically deny the possibility of Sachin Pilot joining the saffron fold.
When asked about possibilities of Pilot joining them, Satish Poonia said that Congress itself is responsible for the speculations and a disgruntled faction of Congress leaders can decide to part ways with the party at any time. Poonia added that Congress’ infightings and rifts are now out in the open.
This is not the first time that speculations of Sachin Pilot dumping the Congress party and joining its rival BJP have been doing the rounds. Last year, rumours of Pilot joining the BJP floated after he and MLAs loyal to him rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. However, Pilot had dismissed the speculation.
Earlier yesterday, another BJP leader, AP Abdullakutty said that he thinks that the former deputy chief minister of Rajasthan will join the saffron party in the future.
“Sachin Pilot is a good leader and I think he will join the BJP in the future,” Abdullakutty told reporters.
The Congress, on the other hand, is doing all it can to ensure that it pacifies the growing resentment among Sachin Pilot and his associates in Rajasthan Congress Unit. In their bid to avert a crisis, Congress leaders and AICC general secretary Ajay Maken recently held discussions regarding the much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan.
Shortly after reports of resentment among the Pilot-led camp came to the fore, demands for cabinet expansion and new appointments have gained momentum.
In July this year, Pilot had indicated that Congress would take appropriate steps to address issues raised by him.
The widening rift within the Rajasthan Congress party
The Congress party in Rajasthan seems to be divided into two factions—one led by the chief minister Ashok Gehlot and the other one spearheaded by rebel leader Sachin Pilot. The rift was most evident during the internal tussle between the two factions that came out in open in June last year.
Sachin Pilot had then expressed disappointment at Ashok Gehlot-run Rajasthan government and said that the government has failed to try and fulfil the promise it made to the people who voted for them. He had also skipped a meeting that was held at Gehlot’s residence as a mark of protest against the government.
In an interview with India Today, Pilot later said that he had skipped the July 13 CLP meet held at Gehlot’s residence because his self-respect was hurt. He said that the state police served him notice under the sedition law, the law their party had promised to repeal. “If you remember the Congress party manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, we talked about repealing the draconian sedition laws. And here a Congress government was using it against its own minister,” he told India Today.
Refuting Gehlot’s allegations that Pilot is working with the BJP to topple his government, Pilot said, “I have worked hard to make Congress win in Rajasthan. Why will I work against my own party?” On being sacked by the party, Pilot said it is yet to sink in and he will take a further decision after discussing with his followers.
Sachin Pilot was even sacked as Rajasthan state Congress chief and removed from his post of Deputy Chief Minister of the state after the party accused him and his associates of conspiring with BJP to destabilise govt. Since then, the Congress party has been desperately trying to retain the leader while the rumour mills have claimed of him joining the BJP.