Congress holds meeting on Rajasthan polls; Pilot, senior leaders present

New Delhi [India] : Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met leaders from Rajasthan to assess preparations for assembly polls and bring greater cohesion in the state party unit amid differences between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.

The meeting is being attended by Sachin Pilot and several other senior leaders from Rajasthan which will go for assembly polls later this year. Gehlot is expected to join the meeting through video conference.

Congress has been in power in Rajasthan over the past four-and-half-years and the differences between Gehlot and Pilot have made it harder for Congress to get another term in office in the state.

Pilot led a revolt against Gehlot in 2020 and subsequently lost his positions as Deputy Chief Minister and state party chief. The loyalists of the Chief Minister scuttled a meeting of party legislators last year which the AICC had planned for apparent leadership change in the state as Gehlot was to shift to Delhi as party chief.

Gehlot had then decided to continue as Chief Minister. Piot has accused the government of not taking appropriate action over “corruption” allegations faced by the BJP government-led by Vasundhara Raje. He carried out Jan Sangarsh Yatra over his demands against the advice of party leadership.

Pilot has also demanded disbanding and reorganising the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC), which hit the headlines in the wake of the alleged paper leak case, compensation to the affected candidates. Gehlot and Sachin Pilot had met the party’s central leaders in Delhi in May after which party leader KC Venugopal had said that the party will fight the polls unitedly.

Rajasthan is among the five states that will go to assembly elections later this year along with Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram. The Congress leadership has already held strategy meetings for the other poll-bound states.

The meeting on Rajasthan is also being attended by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Rajasthan, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

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