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Sachin Pilot meets Rahul Gandhi second time in a week

Rahul Gandhi with Sachin Pilot. File   | Photo Credit: Rohit Jain Paras

Former Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot met former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Mr. Gandhi’s residence on Friday, triggering speculation that the much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle of the Ashok Gehlot government, along with changes in the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), could happen soon.

In the past one week, this is the second time Mr. Pilot has met Mr. Gandhi, and it comes a week after the change of guard in Punjab.

Neither did the Congress party issue any formal statement on the meeting nor did Mr. Pilot speak to reporters about his nearly hour-long meeting the Gandhis. However, the meeting displayed the Congress high command’s eagerness to resolve the leadership tussle in Rajasthan.

Various options are being talked about in Congress circles, including the option of making Mr. Pilot the Rajasthan PCC chief once again, and subsequently offering him a role in the government.

It has also been reported that the Congress high command wants to accommodate the former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister, who unsuccessfully led a rebellion against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in July last year, as a general secretary in the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

He could be asked to handle poll-bound Gujarat, where elections are due around November-December next year. However, sources close to Mr. Pilot have maintained he is reluctant to accept any responsibility that keeps him away from Rajasthan for a long time.

For the past several weeks, AICC general secretary for Rajasthan, Ajay Maken, and party general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal have also been working on a plan to accommodate Mr. Pilot’s supporters by reshuffling the Council of Ministers in the Gehlot government as well as filling up vacancies in government corporations and boards.

Mr. Gehlot, who had a very public spat after Mr. Pilot revolted along with 18 others MLAs in 2020, not only dropped his former Deputy CM and removed him as the PCC chief, but has also been resisting attempts to accommodate Mr. Pilot’s supporters so far.

Though a Cabinet expansion was tentatively scheduled for the second week of August, it got postponed after Mr. Gehlot had to undergo a heart procedure. But now, after the Punjab developments, the Rajasthan Chief Minister is under pressure to toe the high command’s line.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 8:14:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sachin-pilot-meets-rahul-gandhi-second-time-in-a-week/article36657789.ece

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