The Congress on Monday decided to constitute a three-member committee to look into the grievances of Sachin Pilot and the rebel MLAs in Rajasthan after the Tonk MLA met Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, signalling a thaw in ties ahead of the crucial Assembly session on August 14.
Confirming the meeting between Pilot and Rahul Gandhi, KC Venugopal, AICC organisation secretary, said Pilot had committed to work in the interest of the Congress and the Congress government in Rajasthan. Pilot’s rebellion with 18 other MLAs loyal to him has left the Ashok Gehlot-led government teetering on the edge.
“Sachin Pilot has met with former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and expressed his grievances in detail. They have had a frank, open and conclusive discussion,” he said.
“Congress President Sonia Gandhi has decided that the AICC will constitute a three member committee to address the issues raised by Sachin Pilot and the aggrieved MLA and arrive at an appropriate resolution thereof,” Venugopal further said.
In a late statement on Tuesday, Pilot said he welcomes the Congress leadership’s assurance of a “time-bound redressal”. “We raised issues of principles before Congress leadership and welcome their assurance of time-bound redressal of our grievances. I don’t crave for any post, party has given position and can take it back. Some personal remarks have been made against me; I feel there is no place for such mudslinging in politics. We raised organisational issues, SOG case, style of functioning and governance in Rajasthan,” Pilot said.
The development comes days after Gehlot appeared to make a conciliatory move, saying that he would welcome back the rebel Congress MLAs if the party leadership “forgives them”.
Moreover, the Gehlot government also withdrew the sedition charge from three FIRs lodged by the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police in connection with the alleged attempt to topple his government. A key grouse of Pilot that triggered the rebellion was the FIRs being filed by SOG under the sedition charge.
Following the rebellion by Pilot, Congress removed him as deputy chief minister and state PCC chief. The party also cracked the whip on Pilot’s loyalists: Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena were removed from the state cabinet, and the state presidents of the Youth Congress and Seva Dal were replaced. The decision was announced after Pilot and his MLAs skipped two consecutive Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meetings in Jaipur last month.
On Sunday, CM Gehlot asked party legislators to show their unity on the floor of the House. Addressing a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting at a resort in Jaisalmer, he said, “We are all democracy warriors. We are going to win this war and also win the (assembly) election after three-and-a-half years.”
“The unity which you have shown till now, the same unity you have to show in the House,” Gehlot said.
The Congress had a total of 107 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly. This includes 6 MLAs who were previously with the BSP.
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