Cong Forms Panel with Priyanka Gandhi, KC Venugopal & Ahmed Patel to Address Pilot's Complaints
Bringing an end to the month-long political stalemate in Rajasthan, the Congress said late on Monday evening that former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot will work in the "interest of the party", and a three-member committee will be set up to address his and other rebel MLAs' grievances.
Senior party leaders Ahmed Patel, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and KC Venugopal held a meeting with Pilot and other aggrieved legislators at 15 GRG Road in the national capital, considered the party's war room.
Following the meeting Venugopal, who is also the AICC general secretary (organisation), issued a statement saying Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has decided that the AICC will constitute a three-member committee to "address the issues raised by Pilot and the aggrieved MLAs and arrive at an appropriate resolution thereof".
"Shri Sachin Pilot has committed to working in the interest of the Congress party and the Congress government in Rajasthan," the statement added.
On his part, Pilot said that he raised issues of principles before the Congress leadership and welcomed their assurance of "a time-bound redressal of our grievances."
Asserting that he doesn't crave for any post and that the party can take back the position given to him, Pilot said, "some personal remarks have been made against me. I feel there is no place for personal mudslinging in politics", in an apparent reference to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's 'nikamma' remarks against him.
Earlier in the day, Pilot met Rahul Gandhi at the latter's residence where Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was also present. The meeting lasted for two hours during which they had a "frank, open and conclusive" discussion.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "the political crisis in Rajasthan Congress stands resolved amicably by the intervention of none other than Rahul Gandhi himself."
Sources in Gandhi’s office had earlier said Pilot, who last month engineered a rebellion with 18 Congress MLAs and ditched theGehlot government, was in touch with Venugopal.
The Pilot camp’s rebellion seems to have divided the Congress after party MLAs in Rajasthan demanded action against the rebels led by him even though the Grand Old Party is making last-ditch efforts to placate Pilot and bring him back into the fold.
At the Congress Legislature Party on Sunday, sources said state Congress in-charge Avinash Pandey has said that he will not advocate for rebels in front of party high command as the MLAs demanded action.
According to sources said Congress Working Committee member Raghuvir Meena had said the rebels would be forgiven if they voted for the party in the floor test. A similar softening of stand was seen when Gehlot, after publicly rebuking Pilot, said he would accept the rebels if they apologised to the “high command”.
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Nineteen Congress rebels, including Pilot, revolted against Gehlot, posing a threat to the Congress government in Rajasthan. Congress removed Pilot as the deputy CM and as the state chief of the party on July 14 but also sent many feelers to Pilot, though the rebel leader has not opened his cards yet even though he has said he would not join the BJP.
Gehlot has convened a session of the state assembly on August 14 where he will prove his majority.