Sachin Pilot gives ultimatum to Rajasthan Government to act in corruption cases

Apart from a high-level probe into charges of corruption against the previous BJP government, Mr. Pilot also demanded disbanding of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission and its reconstitution

May 15, 2023 03:20 pm | Updated 09:35 pm IST - Jaipur

Congress leader Sachin Pilot with supporters during his ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’, in Jaipur on May 15, 2023.

Congress leader Sachin Pilot with supporters during his ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’, in Jaipur on May 15, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress leader Sachin Pilot on May 15 gave an ultimatum to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to act in the alleged corruption cases of the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime by the end of the month, failing which he would launch a massive State-wide agitation.

Also Read | Congress leaders offer Sachin Pilot ‘bigger party role’ amid Rajasthan tussle

Mr. Pilot said at a huge public rally organised here on the conclusion of his five-day ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’ from Ajmer that nothing would scare or suppress him and he would “continue to serve the people of Rajasthan till his last breath”. “Despite facing abuses, I have worked for strengthening the party organisation when others took advantage,” he said.

In addition to the call for a high-level probe into the alleged instances of corruption and scandals during the BJP rule, Mr. Pilot raised two other demands for disbanding and reconstitution of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC), and the payment of compensation to youths affected by the cancellation of government recruitment exams after the question paper leaks.

The former Deputy Chief Minister has been raising the issues of corruption and paper leaks for quite some time in response to Mr. Gehlot’s charge that he was privy to the BJP’s plans to pull down the Congress government when he rebelled in 2020. Mr. Pilot staged a day-long fast here on April 11 and undertook the 125-km-long yatra from Ajmer to Jaipur to press for his demands and put pressure on the Gehlot government.

Contrary to expectations that he would tone down his rhetoric or try to show a united face after the Congress’ victory in Karnataka, Mr. Pilot said he would continue to fight for probity in public life and raise the issues crucial for common people. The Tonk MLA affirmed that his agitation was not against any individual but against corruption and for the youth.

While the MLAs loyal to Mr. Pilot were asked not to take part in the foot march to Jaipur, the public rally organised at Bhankrota here turned out to be a show of strength with the participation of two Ministers, over a dozen Congress MLAs, Chairpersons of Boards, Pradesh Congress Committee office-bearers, District Congress presidents, and Congress candidates in the previous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Referring to Mr. Gehlot’s recent claim that former CM Vasundhara Raje and two BJP leaders had helped save his government during the 2020 rebellion, Mr. Pilot said it was strange that the Chief Minister had maligned the image of his own party leaders and praised his political opponents. “As for me, I have never levelled charges against anyone. My struggle is on the issues,” he said.

Mr. Pilot, who was sacked as Deputy CM and Pradesh Congress president after his revolt, said those talking about factionalism and betrayal of the party should introspect on the September 25, 2022 incident when the Congress Legislature Party meeting was not allowed to take place despite the instructions of party leader Sonia Gandhi.

Addressing the rally, Forest and Environment Minister Hemaram Choudhary and Minister of State for Soldiers’ Welfare Rajendra Gudha said Mr. Gehlot’s recent claim that the MLAs who supported Mr. Pilot had taken crores of rupees from the BJP was not in good taste. Mr. Gudha said some senior leaders in the ruling Congress had broken all records of corruption, which would affect the party’s prospects in this year’s Assembly election.

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