Sachin Pilot, whose rebellion has pushed the Congress government in Rajasthan to the brink, said today that he is not joining the BJP and is still a Congress man.
“I am not joining the BJP. I would like to make it clear that I have no plans to join the BJP. Attempts to link me to the BJP are to malign me in the eyes of the Congress high-command,” Sachin Pilot told NDTV, pointing out that he had worked hard to defeat the BJP.
“I am still a member of the Congress party,” he insisted, a day after he was removed as Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan and the party’s chief in the state.
The 42-year-old Congress leader launched a revolt on Sunday after nearly two years of feuding with his main rival and former boss, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. He said he felt humiliated after being asked to appear for questioning in an investigation stared by the Chief Minister into alleged attempts to dislodge the Congress government.
Bruised by Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit three months ago, which led to the Congress collapse in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress reportedly made attempts to reach out to him over the past two days. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was among the top leaders who spoke to him.
Amid reports that he wanted the Congress to name him Chief Minister in place of Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot told NDTV that he has yet to decide on a future course of action. “I would like to serve the people of Rajasthan,” he said.
In 2018, Sachin Pilot was forced to step back in the race for Chief Ministership after the Congress’s victory in the Rajasthan polls. His argument that he had rebuilt the party in the five years after the previous state election defeat paled to Ashok Gehlot’s vast experience and political cunning.
This morning, the Congress initiated moves to disqualify him and other dissident Rajasthan MLAs for anti-party activities. The move is likely to give the Congress government in Rajasthan an advantage by bringing the majority-mark down in a floor test.
For Sachin Pilot, it is one more step towards what many say his inevitable exit from the Congress.