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Congress emissary lands in Jaipur to defuse Pilot trouble

Source: PTI
June 07, 2023 17:40 IST
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Congress in-charge for Rajasthan Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Wednesday started one-to-one meetings with state ministers and MLAs amid attempts by the party's central leadership to broker peace between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and dissident leader Sachin Pilot ahead of assembly polls due later this year.

IMAGE: Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa addresses the media on the Rajasthan crisis. Photograph: ANI on Twitter

Randhawa arrived in Jaipur on Tuesday evening amid speculation over Pilot's next move, with sources close to the former deputy chief minister saying that the meeting Pilot and Gehlot had with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi last week did not result in any resolution of "core issues" between the two Rajasthan leaders.

The sources had said Pilot was firm on his demands, including action against alleged corruption during the previous Vasundhara Raje government, and was waiting for a definitive response from the party high command.


On Wednesday, state ministers Mamta Bhupesh, Saleh Mohammad, Govind Meghwal and Murari Lal Meena were among those who met Randhawa in the initial round of interactions. Later, MLA Krishna Poonia and other legislators also met him.

Randhawa took feedback about the issues related to government and party organisation, party sources said.

However, a Congress spokesperson said that those who wanted to meet Randhawa have been given time by him.

Meanwhile, Randhawa and state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra met Chief Minister Gehlot at his residence and later returned to the party war room to resume meeting with the leaders.

Replying to queries from media persons, Randhawa had on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of Pilot floating a new party. He also said that the party will assign responsibilities to Rajasthan leaders according to their stature.

He reiterated that both Rajasthan leaders "agreed to work unitedly" during their meeting with Kharge and Rahul Gandhi, claiming that 90 per cent of the matter was resolved and the rest was also "not an issue".

Gehlot and his former deputy have been engaged in a power tussle since the Congress formed government in the state in 2018.

There are suggestions that Pilot may give a clear indication about his way forward on June 11 when he marks his father's death anniversary in Dausa.

The Congress last Thursday had said the party is supreme and will fight the Rajasthan assembly polls unitedly to emerge victorious, an assertion that came after Pilot refused to budge from his demands.

Last year, an attempt by the high command to effect a leadership change in Rajasthan failed after Gehlot loyalists did not allow a legislature party meeting to take place.

Pilot, last month, defied a warning from the party and went ahead with a day-long fast, claiming "inaction" by the Gehlot government on alleged corruption during the previous Raje government.

He also undertook the 'Jan Sangharsh Yatra'. The party had distanced itself from the 125-km-long five-day march.

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