Pilot loyalists want nothing less than leadership change now

By Archana Sharma

Jaipur, Oct 18 (IANS): Amid the ongoing feud between the Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot camps in Rajasthan, Pilot supporters now want to compromise on nothing less than the leadership change as the long-awaited cabinet reshuffle and expansion along with the delayed political appointments have left them frustrated.

In December, the Congress government will complete three years of its working and the workers will get only two years to work, out of which the last year of the 5-year term will go in making preparations for the Assembly elections.

"We have no grassroots presence, our money has been exhausted and so we are just not prepared to contest polls in the present state," said one of the pilot loyalists to IANS.

"We have conveyed the message to the Congress high command and hope for the best," they added.

In fact, Gehlot has had a meeting with Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken along with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday where the state issue was discussed at length.

Meanwhile, the Congress workers in Rajasthan were seen discussing why Sonia Gandhi was not present in the meeting. "Is she also anguished over the delays in cabinet expansion," asked a Congress worker.

Sources said that Gehlot had also expressed his annoyance in the meeting over the issue of Rahul Gandhi not taking his calls.

The frequent missing of deadlines (given by Maken) for cabinet expansion and reshuffle, the delay in political appointments and the way the Pilot issue is being handled has left the Gandhi family aggrieved too, said sources, and hence Pilot loyalists are now eyeing a larger slice of the cake, which is nothing less than a leadership change in state, said Congress worker.

"Had it been a simple matter of accommodating ministers from the Pilot camp in the government, it would not have got so late. The issue now is different and we are working to resolve it," he added.



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