Congress leader Sachin Pilot, who is campaigning solo in Rajasthan ahead of polls later this year, took aim at his own government and Chief Minister Ahmedabad today. Ashok Gehlot, seemingly confirming his party’s fears.
As Sachin Pilot campaigned in Nagaur, a Jat community and farmers’ stronghold, he referred to the recent leak of a general knowledge test for teachers in Rajasthan.
“Sometimes exam papers are leaked, sometimes exams are cancelled.. very painful and distressing.. children, their parents have worked so hard for education. Students are preparing day and night for exams,” former Rajasthan deputy chief minister told a rally Say.
“I want the government to go after the big fish and not the hawkers,” Mr Pilot said.
The Congress leader’s massive outreach ahead of Jan. 20 has his party concerned that the pending leadership battle between Rajasthan’s two supreme leaders will draw new and unwelcome attention .
Sources close to Mr Pilot said his mass-engagement plan was aimed at strengthening Congress and maintaining his political space in Rajasthan. That’s why he’s focused on the Jat-farmer heartland, a traditional congressional base, the source said.
Observers say Mr Pilot’s political calculations come at a time when Rajasthan Assembly President Govind Singh Dottasala is busy with grassroots organizing and the chief minister prepares for his final budget. Stay relevant in Rajasthan politics.
Mr Pilot’s campaign comes weeks after Mr Gehlot called his former deputy a “gaddar” (traitor) in a bombshell interview with NDTV and said he would not be chief minister.
“A gaddar (traitor) cannot be Chief Minister. The High Command cannot have Sachin Pilot as Chief Minister… a man without 10 MLA. Who rebelled. He betrayed the party, (he) is a traitor, ’” Mr Gehlot had said to his younger rival.
The stand-off between Gehlot and Pilot began in 2018 as the pair battled for the post of chief minister following Congress’ victory in Rajasthan, and culminated in 2020, when Mr Pilot defected along with 20 MLAs who supported him and camped out in Delhi for weeks .
The insurgency ended after the Gandhi family reassured Mr Pilot that change had never been fully achieved, and Mr Gallot refused to back down. Since then, the dispute has intensified without any resolution.
Sources said that Sachin Pilot had permission from Rahul Gandhi to conduct such publicity during the Bharat Jodo Yatra to strengthen the party ahead of the elections.
Nagar, where Mr Pilot spoke today, is the home ground of former BJP ally Hanuman Beniwal’s National Unity Party (RLP). Mr Benivale, who quit his coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party on the controversial farm law issue, is believed to have entered the Jat vote bank, which traditionally selects Congress.
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