New Delhi: Breaking his silence for the first time since the events of the day unfolded, Sachin Pilot said on late Monday evening that he was hopeful the three-member committee constituted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi will address all the concerns raised.
“We wanted to raise some issues related to functioning of the government…these issues were ideological and we thought it was important to put it in front of the party,” Pilot told reporters in the national capital.
“Since past some time some MLAs were in Delhi, there were some issues which we wanted to highlight. I did that. I’d been saying since beginning that all these things were based on principle. I always thought these things are essential to be raised in party’s interest. Formation of the three-member committee by the Congress President is a welcome step. I think all the issues will be resolved.There is no place for personal malice in politics. We had formed govt in Rajasthan after five years of hard work,” said Pilot
“A lot of things was said and some personal comments were made which surprised me but politics does not have that space. We are all stakeholders in the government,” he said. “Party gives posts, it can take posts also. I am not greedy about post but we wanted that the self-respect should continue,” he added.
“We raised issues of principles before Congress leadership and welcome their assurance of time-bound redressal of our grievances. Some personal remarks have been made against me; I feel there is no place for such mudslinging in politics,” said Pilot.
On late Monday evening, Congress’ senior leadership including Vadra, Venugopal and treasurer Ahmed Patel held a meeting to discuss the developments.
In a dramatic turn of events, the day also saw a softening of the stand taken by a section of members of legislative assembly (MLAs) of Rajasthan who backed Pilot’s revolt and are now expected to extend support to the Congress government led by chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
“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. Sachin Pilot has committed to working in the interest of the Congress and the Congress government in Rajasthan,” senior party leader K.C. Venugopal said late on Monday evening.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has formed a three-member committee to address issues raised by Pilot and the MLAs supporting him, to “arrive at an appropriate resolution”.
The statement by Venugopal is significant as it was released after a telephone conversation between Sonia Gandhi and Gehlot, a move that senior leaders feel could mark a step forward in breaking the deadlock in Rajasthan where 18 MLAs led by Pilot had revolted against Gehlot nearly a month ago.
Venugopal also attacked the BJP saying that the resolution of the crisis was “a direct slap on BJP’s anti-democratic face”.
“Mr Pilot is also happy and our Chief Minister is also happy. This is a direct slap on BJP’s anti-democratic face. They are the people doing such horse-trading and sabotaging democratically elected government. This is actually a message to BJP’s wrong-doings,” Venugopal told ANI.
The political crisis resulted from differences between Pilot and Gehlot coming out in the open. Pilot was removed as Deputy Chief Minister last month.
After Pilot and 18 MLAs loyal to him did not attend meetings of the Congress Legislature Party, the party had issued disqualification notices against them which were challenged by them in court.
Pilot met former party chief Rahul Gandhi earlier in the day and expressed his grievances.
Venugopal issued a statement on Monday evening and said Pilot and Gandhi had “a frank, open and conclusive discussion”.
“Sachin Pilot has met with former Congress President Shri. Rahul Gandhi and expressed his grievances in detail. They have had a frank, open and conclusive discussion. Sachin Pilot has committed to working in the interest of the Congress party and the Congress government in Rajasthan,” he said.