Sachin Pilot, the towering Congress leader who scripted the victory for Congress in 2018 general election, has been sacked by party high command from the position of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Chief and Deputy Chief Minister after he refused to attend Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meet.
After the Congress high command decided to sack the popular leader from important posts, he tweeted, “Truth can be troubled, cannot be defeated.”
Now the 42-year-old leader has two options left- join BJP or form a new party. Pilot has the support of many MLAs, and therefore, if he joins BJP, it would be a huge gain for the saffron party even if it is unable to form the government immediately.
The youth leader is highly popular in the state, especially among two dominant castes- Gurjars (to which he belongs) and Meenas. He is known for cooling down the animosity between the two castes after violent Gurjar reservation protest against Meenas. He bridged the differences between the two communities and brought them to Congress fold, which helped the party to win the election as the grand old party bagged 43 of 49 seats in Eastern Rajasthan where these two groups are dominant.
Pilot is young, educated and hard-working and has the support of two dominant caste groups, therefore, a CM figure in every sense.
Pilot can prove to be a value addition in BJP. But, his candidacy in BJP has one big hurdle- Vasundhara Raje.
Despite being political opponents, Gehlot and Raje are good friends, as they exchange CM chair in every five years and keep mum about other’s wrongdoings. Gehlot, despite being a direct opponent of Raje, never attacked her politics or policies. In fact, he has repeatedly praised the Raje and her policies in the past.
In the last few months, whenever Gehlot claimed that BJP is trying to destabilize the Congress government in Rajasthan, he always blamed the central leadership and Amit Shah but not Raje.
Also, Raje, who is a contender for the CM post if Gehlot government falls in the state, has not uttered a word against Congress party or on the whole political crisis so far. She has not said anything about Congress’s decision to remove Pilot from PCC chief or Deputy CM post, too.
Pilot, if in Congress party, is a threat to Gehlot government; and if in BJP, he is a threat to Raje’s candidacy as next chief minister candidate.
Given the fact Rajasthan has a trend of changing party in every 5 years, Raje is sure about coming to power once Gehlot’s tenure is over. Both leaders exchanged the CM post in every five years and never allowed any other leaders to grow in their respective parties.
But, the rise of Pilot threatens their hegemony in respective parties. And therefore, both leaders are keen to witness the downfall of Pilot.
However, if BJP’s central leadership decides to invite Pilot to join the party and he accepts the offer, the popular youth leader would definitely win the next election for the saffron party, and this would be another big loss to the grand old party after the exit of Scindia.