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The Rediff Election Interview/Sachin Pilot
March 25, 2004
A few weeks ago Sachin Pilot, the 26-year-old son of the late Rajesh Pilot, was in the news was when he married Sara, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah's daughter.
Sara's family did not approve of her choice and none of the Abdullahs turned up for the wedding. But that is past and Pilot junior does not want to talk about it.
He is in the news again and that is what he wants to talk about. The Congress party has nominated him to contest from Dausa, the constituency his father returned victorious from in five Lok Sabha elections.
Many in the party believe Sachin's mother Rama Pilot, the sitting MP from Dausa, should have been renominated from the Rajasthan constituency. They argue she had a better chance of winning the seat.
In an exclusive interview to Chief Correspondent Onkar Singh at his Canning Lane bungalow in the heart of New Delhi, Sachin Pilot brushed aside the objections.
"It is not a question of an individual or a family. It is a question of what the party tells you to do and this is what precisely I am doing," he said.
Were you surprised when the party announced your name from Dausa?
Not at all. I have been working in that area and Rajasthan as a whole for the last few years. During the time when my father represented this constituency, I was involved with people living in this region. It is an opportunity that the party has given me to fight elections and win it with a big margin. The party has given its mandate; now I have to seek the mandate of the people.
I think it is not a question of being surprised. When we work towards a goal it is a collective decision. The aspirations of party workers are obviously taken into account.
Is there some guilt that you have taken away your mother's seat?
Not at all. It is not a question of one mother, one son or one family. The Congress is a big party and whatever is in the best interest of the party is also in the best interest of the Congress worker.
We belong to the Congress party and our main aim is to strengthen it as an organisation. This can be done both from within Parliament and outside. Whether it is my mother or me we would work towards strengthening the party. This time around the party has given me a mandate to go to the people, I would smilingly go to them and hopefully win the election.
Will your mother stand behind you?
Of course, she will. I am very close to her. When my father was in politics or later when she joined politics, I worked with her. We work closely as a family. She gives me good guidance. We have a very good support system and I am very lucky to have that. She has been my mentor after my father's death. My mother and I have worked together in every election and we would continue to do so in future as well.
What was the experience like when you worked with her in the assembly election in Rajasthan last year?
It was my party's decision to field my mother against Mrs Vasundhara Raje Scindia. [Jhalarpattan] has been a tough seat for the Congress for the last 40 years but as footsoldiers of the party we carried out the orders of the high command. Vasundharaji was contesting as the chief ministerial candidate, but we put up a good fight.
Politics comes naturally to me because I have grown up in this environment for almost two decades.