By Archana Sharma
The story of Rajasthan Congress after being split and divided in two groups led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and ex-Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, seems to be getting all the more complicated with elements of suspense, surprise and contradicting strategies.
While the AICC leaders are seen adopting a stoic silence on Pilot, the Rajasthan CM has been going all vocal against him while making scathing attacks on Pilot.
On Monday, Rajasthan Congress in charge Avinash Pandey called a press conference where he openly announced that 19 rebel Congress MLAs including Pilot can return to their ‘family’ after apologising to the party high command.
However, Gehlot a few days back called Pilot as “Nikamma” and “Nakara”.
Now, the party workers are confused as to who is moving in the right direction: the AICC or Rajasthan Congress leadership under Gehlot.
In fact, Gehlot also seems to have changed his strategy and is going quite verbal against the Governor while preferring to remain silent on Pilot.
There are hush-hush whispers in the Congress corridors that the CM also seems to have changed his strategy following his AICC team members and hence is not bringing Pilot in any picture of protest being staged in the state unlike a few days back where the former Deputy CM was on his constant radar.
This switch of strategy has left the party leaders confused, baffled and all the more divided on their stands.
Their general query is why Gehlot was spewing venom against Sachin Pilot but no one else was doing the same from the AICC and why now he has gone silent.
“We are clueless on the party’s stand as on one hand, they give them disqualification notice, while the other hand, AICC members give a call to 19 members asking them to make a comeback to their family. This seems to be a very confusing situation,” said a former PCC worker who once worked as a spokesperson before the PCC was dissolved after the ouster of Pilot as PCC chief.
Another party leader questioned the silence of AICC party leaders and said, “Why are they silent over the issue. It’s way beyond understanding that why only our honourable CM was giving hate statements against our former deputy CM, tarnishing the party image referring to Pilot as ‘Nikamma’ and ‘Nakara’. Why Congress retained him as PCC chief for 6 years? Don’t you think the people who voted for us would want to know this question,” he said.
While the party leaders kept the workers baffled, Pilot also left no stone unturned to continue the suspense over his affiliation to the party.
On Monday, he released three posts on social media which carried the Congress ‘Hand’ symbol.
In his three posts on social media, he paid tributes to former President ‘Bharat Ratna’ Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on his death anniversary, wished all the soldiers and countrymen of the Central Reserve Police Force on occasion of its foundation day and also paid tributes to Goswami Tulsidas ji, the author of epics like Ramayana and Vinay Patrika on his birth anniversary.
Further, when party spokesman Randeep Surjewala on Monday said that a few MLAs from Pilot camp are in touch with Gehlot camp and shall join the same soon, another MLA from Pilot camp, Hemaram Chaudhary released a video and said that many MLAs from the Gehlot camp will join Pilot soon once they are freed from ‘camping’ at the resort.
So amid all this suspense, surprise and shocking elements, questions are being raised as to who will emerge stronger in the coming months. Also there are whispers indicating that there are plans of patch up in party as Gehlot is busy targeting Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra while remaining silent on Pilot.
“No matter what is the case, we stand with our leader Ashok Gehlot at this point of time who is all out to save democracy in the nation,” Archana Sharma, former vice president of the PCC told IANS brushing aside all queries.