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Pilot lands in Delhi, Cong says all well

Sunday, 13 June 2021 | Deepak Kumar Jha | New Delhi

Disgruntled Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Saturday met Rajasthan incharge Ajay Maken and AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal in an effort to iron out the differences between him and the party for over a year now against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

While Pilot has remained tightlipped since he landed in Delhi on Friday evening, Maken ruled out any differences and that both have been talking and meeting regularly. “I am speaking to Pilotji on a regular basis. Had he been angry, he would not be speaking to me,” Maken, a former Union Minister, said.

Maken mentioned that vacant positions in the Rajasthan Cabinet, boards and commissions would be filled soon and leaders of the party are engaged in resolving the issues.

Pilot has been demanding his MLAs be accommodated in the Gehlot Cabinet and important posts for his men in the State administration and State unit. AICC sources said party high command has already conveyed to Gehlot to fill up the nine Cabinet vacancies, and, if need be, also expand it.

In the wake of  Jyotiraditya Scindia deserting the  Congress and joining the BJP last year and now with the exit of Jitin Prasada, the grand old party seems serious about placating Pilot even though he has clarified he would “not join the BJP and do their cow politics”.

However, Pilot has raked up the issue of non-resolution of commitments made to him a year ago following which he reportedly received a phone call from party leader Priyanka Gandhi. “It has now been 10 months. I was given to understand that there would be swift action by the committee, but now half of the term is done, and those issues haven’t been resolved. It is unfortunate that so many of the party workers who worked and gave their all for getting us the mandate are not being heard,” Pilot had told reporters in Jaipir on Friday.

Six MLAs met Pilot at his residence in Jaipur on Thursday.  All the six were part of the 18 MLAs who had rebelled against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. They reportedly questioned the “delay” in Cabinet expansion and political appointments by Gehlot.

AICC sources said Pilot who is camping in Delhi may not get chance to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. While Rahul has not given him time so far, Priyanka is out of Delhi, sources said.

A senior leader requesting anonymity recalled that this is how good leaders like Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the grand old party out of exasperation when they could not get time to meet Rahul.  Pilot, Scindia, Jitin, Himanta were all in the close circuit of Rahul Gandhi against whom there has been allegations of avoiding meetings with the party leaders even during crisis.

Pilot reached Delhi on Friday evening on the day he brushed aside claims by BJP leader and a Minister in UP Government Rita Bahuguna Joshi that he was at the Congress exit door.

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