Behind the scenes: The Sachin Pilot- Ashok Gehlot saga
Fall from grace
According to a news report by ANI, Sachin Pilot has been removed as Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan PCC Chief, announced Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Tuesday. "Sachin Pilot, Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena have been removed from the posts of Deputy Chief Minister and Ministerial posts respectively. Sachin Pilot has also been removed as the Rajasthan PCC Chief," said Surjewala. Govind Singh Dotasra has been appointed as the new PCC chief, he added.
According to a report by IANS, since the Congress party formed its government in Rajasthan, there were two power circles created, one being led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and other by Sachin Pilot.
Out of the loop
During the Covid crisis, Gehlot was busy calling video conferences with health and other departments, however, Pilot was never part of the meetings. Pilot camp sources said that the Deputy CM wanted the entire Congress team on ground, however, Gehlot was more interested in making his larger picture and hence centralised the operations during corona.
Even on his father Rajesh Pilot's death anniversary on June 11, when Pilot and team was about to go to Dausa to pay floral tributes, the police officials called Pilot and asked him to stay away from visiting Dausa as section 144 was imposed in the town in the wake of COVID-19.
Further, the challenge started appearing grave when Pilot wanted Congress grassroots workers to get tickets for ensuing panchayat and corporation polls while Gehlot wanted to favour his closest. Also for political appointments, the CM wanted the BSP and independent MLAs to get plum posts while Pilot wanted them to be kept for Congress workers.
It's more like a do-or-die situation for Pilot but hopefully the Congress high command wakes up from its slumber, said a PCC worker who told IANS that the party seems to be crumbling in the state with the deadlock. "We look dead and if things don't improve, our party will be declared dead."