The Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot fiasco began after Special Operation Group (SOG) issued summons to the CM and his deputy for recording their statements after a complaint by the Congress about the BJPs attempts to buy legislators and topple the one-and-a-half-year-old Gehlot government in Rajasthan. This proved to be the immediate trigger annoying the already infuriated Pilot.
Beginning this year when around hundred infants died in Kota’s J. K. Lon Hospital, there was a war of words ensued by the lack of basic medical facilities and equipments as Pilot being a PWD Minister made use of this occasion to take on Ashok Gehlot directly on a host of issues, be it on policy and governance. Raghu Sharma, the Health Minister, attempted to calm down the tempers but in vain.
Pilot, from day one, has always made purpose of the available chance and opportunity in attacking the credentials of his government for one or the other reason. I believe this has certainly to do with his lack of audience with the central command of the party, making him enter into friction with the seasoned and experienced Ashok Gehlot after the Rajasthan assembly mandate of 2018. Pilot had strong desire of getting the top post as a reward for his labour, loyalty and obedience to the high command in terms of offering the best of his services in his capacity as the party had ended up decimated in the 2013 Rajasthan assembly elections earlier.
Pilot was the groundsman who, with his patience and temperament, built the party, gradually swinging into harbouring the expectations of Chief Minister-ship. It was thought natural for Pilot, given his rank and responsibility in the Congressm. He sounded optimistic and confident after the Congress delivered marvelously in 2018; plus with a sense of entitlement creeping in, he thought himself as the contender for the top post.
Ashok Gehlot, who comes across as a disciplined foot soldier of the party and an old Gandhi family loyalist commanding obedience, was on priority for the elected legislators backed by experience and expertise as a leader, politician and administrator. Sachin Pilot came nowhere near him, plus with his wafer-thin majority in the assembly, there was a need for someone carrying along the interests of each and and every one along quite willingly. The backing by the independent legislators did make the task easier for Gehlot but there was a catch: for the high command favoured taking Pilot on board with his aspirations and ambitions for the top political profile. However, after days of deliberate inaction, the Congress worked a middle ground by favouring Pilot for Deputy CM and Party President, seen as efforts on part of high command securing his interests and objectives in the party.
Sachin Pilot has been a young, energetic, enthusiastic, charismatic and dynamic leader of the Congress committed to the ideology and principle of the party. He has always stood his ground be it for any compelling situation and circumstance. I don’t understand his bargaining when the party is trying to work a fine power balance between him and Gehlot. Why is he dislodging the chain of command and hierarchy in the structure, and for whose interests? Will he benefit at all from breaking a few of Gehlot’s MLAs who support him, or will he walk the talk with the BJP? These are some pressing questions warranting a clarification from Mr Pilot as this is not the manner of conducting your differences, opinions and views in the party; and if you perform this way, then the party has got all the right and authority to initiate disciplinary proceedings against your defiance .
I do believe that even after sacking Pilot from the post of Deputy CM and Party President, the Congress can still enter into engagements with Pilot if not for the latter’s acute wildness. At least, allow the senior-most functionaries to hear your side before arriving at any readymade conclusions, doing a great deal of injustice to a talent like Pilot who has over the period of time made significant contributions for the Congress. I think that the old guards vs young turks debate is back once again after Sonia Gandhi’s return as the Congress President as her aides seem to be proudly drifting towards the old guards.
What Congress needs is to realize that for its political reinvigoration, it is the young who will have to be trained and tutored into taking the key posts and profile in the party. Only then can it present any alternative against Modi-led BJP. When the youth are trying to create a difference in the party, then they are being sidelined and relegated to the margins by the old loyalists of the party and thus playing to the advantage of other political party viz a viz national political parties. Thus, for ensuring the systematic and structural overhauling of the Congress party, the time is ripe for a serious investigation and interrogation if the party has to revive itself. It has to take into account the aspirations and ambitions of the young. The pool of the young widely needs to be utilized if the party has to escape from repeating another Scindia and Pilot plot, exposing its fallacy as now there should be an end to this Desert Drama once and for all.
I rest my case here.