Congress to meet over Ashok Gehlot-Sachin Pilot issue on Thursday

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Ashok Gehlot with Sachin Pilot | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Congress party has called a meeting on Thursday to resolve the situation regarding Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Congress leader Sachin Pilot, party sources confirmed.

"Sachin Pilot can also be called to present his side in this meeting," a party source said.

In this regard, Rajasthan Congress in-charge Sukhjinder Randhawa met Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge in Delhi and apprised him of the current situation.

"I agree with the issue of corruption that Sachin Pilot has raised, but his method is wrong. He should have raised it during the Assembly session. Today's discussion with Sachin Pilot happened for half an hour and we will talk tomorrow also. I will analyze all things and prepare a report as to who is at fault. The press conference that he did, I did not feel that it was pro-party. I will submit a detailed report," he said.

Asked about allegations of inaction against loyalists of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over not holding Congress Legislative Party meeting despite the presence of central observers in the run-up party's presidential election, Randhawa said he was not AICC incharge of Rajasthan at that time.

"Action should have been taken in the past but was not done but this time action will be taken," Randhawa said.

Congress President Kharge after taking the report from Sukhjinder Randhawa met Rahul Gandhi over this matter.

"After taking the report from Randhawa, Kharge has also discussed it with Rahul today. Now Rahul will discuss this with Sonia. Congress President will take the opinion of Gandhi family. Final decision will be of Kharge," sources said.

The ruling Congress in Rajasthan is grappling with a fresh crisis in view of Pilot's fast with the move seen as an accusation against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of "sitting on corruption cases".

The Congress took a serious view of party leader Sachin Pilot's daylong fast over his demand for "action on corruption" during the BJP government's rule, saying it is against party interests and an "anti-party activity".

Randhawa had issued a statement on Monday saying Pilot, a former state Deputy Chief Minister, had never spoken to him on the issue.

"Sachin Pilot's day-long fast is against the party interests and is anti-party activity. If there is any issue with his own government, it can be discussed in the party forums instead of in the media and public," Randhawa had said.

The fresh crisis has emerged months before the assembly polls in the state due late this year.

Pilot is seen as a chief ministerial aspirant but Gehlot, who did not contest the Congress presidential election, is apparently keen not to hand over the reins of the state to him.

The differences between the two had come out sharply in 2020 with Pilot leading a "rebellion" against Gehlot.

The two leaders have taken potshots at each other on several occasions in the past.


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