Congress’s Sachin Pilot, back in Rajasthan after ending his month-long revolt against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, said today that he had “no hard feelings” and was no longer part of the state government but expected the “head of the family” to resolve issues and take everyone along.
“I have not asked for any post. I have only said there should be no vendetta politics against the MLAs who are returning to the fold,” Sachin Pilot said on the 18 rebels who stayed away from Rajasthan, like him.
Mr Pilot, 42, who revolted against the Chief Minister after being summoned in allegations of bribing Congress MLAs to defect, dropped his rebellion after meeting with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra yesterday. All he apparently got from the leadership was an assurance that the grievances of the rebels would be heard by a three-member committee that includes Priyanka Gandhi.
Mr Pilot may not get back the two posts that Mr Gehlot had sacked him from – Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan Congress chief. Sources say he may be accommodated in the central Congress, that too after a cooling off period, even though he may well continue his politics in Rajasthan, where he remains an MLA. The other rebels may be given cabinet posts in the next reshuffle.
After the warm welcome in Delhi, Mr Pilot returned to Jaipur to a cold reception from his former boss. Ashok Gehlot flew to Jaisalmer in the morning and decided to spend the night there, avoiding any contact with his sacked deputy, whom he has attacked sharply over the past month.
Perhaps the worst was the Chief Minister calling Mr Pilot “nikamma, naakara (useless)”.
“I was very hurt at the personal attacks, but I do not want to nurse any ill-feelings. I don’t harbour any ego or grudges. I never used such language or crossed any limits,” Mr Pilot said.
It is not clear how the truce in Delhi will work out in Jaipur. Mr Pilot made it clear that he considered Rajasthan his “karmabhoomi” and reminded that the next election is three years away.
“I was given posts when I was very young and I have given 100 per cent to every responsibility I was given by the Congress,” he said.
“As leader of the government, the head of the family is Ashok Gehlot and it is his responsibility to hear everyone, sort out their grievances and take everyone along.”
Asked about the Chief Minister’s claim that the two had not spoken for 18 months, Mr Pilot said: “He said a lot of things and I don’t want to counter them. Airing you views within the party is not a revolt and I will keep raising issues.”