regular-article-logo Wednesday, 04 October 2023

Don't believe in rumours: Congress leader Venugopal dismisses reports of Sachin Pilot floating own party

The Congress general secretary said he is in touch with the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister and asserted that the party is united and will contest the Rajasthan assembly elections together

PTI New Delhi Published 09.06.23, 09:54 PM
Sachin Pilot

Sachin Pilot File Picture

The Congress on Friday dismissed as rumours reports that its leader Sachin Pilot may announce his own party on his father Rajesh Pilot's death anniversary and asserted it will contest Rajasthan's assembly polls unitedly, even as sources close to him said there has not been much forward movement on his demands.

Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal said he is in touch with the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister and asserted that the party is united and will contest the upcoming assembly elections in Rajasthan together.


However, sources close to Pilot said he wants resolution of the issues that he has raised, especially his demand that the Ashok Gehlot government takes action against alleged corruption during the previous BJP regime. There has not been much forward movement on these issues, they added.

Leaders close to Pilot said he has taken a "principled position" and it is not about posts. The issues of corruption and paper leaks are his top priority, they added.

Besides graft, Pilot's two other demands were reconstituting the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) and making fresh appointments in it, and compensation for those affected by the cancellation of government recruitment exams following paper leaks.

Speaking with PTI at the AICC headquarters, Venugopal said, "I don't believe in rumours. The reality is that the Congress president and Rahul Gandhi discussed with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot and after that we said that we will go together. That is the position of the Congress party." "In my knowledge, there is no such thing," he said, when asked specifically about reports of Pilot floating a new party.

Venugopal said he has been meeting Pilot and been in touch with Pilot recently.

He also told the media to be optimistic and not believe in such rumours.

"Who told you he is going out of the party. These are imaginary... rumours. Don't believe these rumours. Be optimistic. Don't worry, we will fight unitedly. The Rajasthan Congress will fight unitedly," he also said.

The remarks come amid intense speculation that Pilot may announce his own party or his future plans at the programme on Sunday to pay tributes to his father on his death anniversary in Dausa, an event which has been an annual feature for the last over two decades.

The Congress last week 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.

In a bid to defuse the tensions, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi had held marathon discussions with Gehlot and Pilot separately last week, sources had said. They had later posed for photographs at Kharge's 10 Rajaji Marg residence here.

After the meetings, the party had said Gehlot and Pilot have agreed to fight the upcoming assembly elections unitedly and have left all issues to be resolved by the party high command.

Addressing reporters after the meeting earlier this week, Venugopal had said, "Both the leaders, Ashok ji and Sachin ji, agreed to the proposal on these things." Asked what proposal he was talking out, Venugopal had said, "Both have left it to the (party) high command." Gehlot and Pilot have been engaged in a power tussle since the Congress formed government in the state in 2018. In 2020, Pilot led a revolt against the Gehlot government after which he was removed from the posts of the party's state unit president and deputy chief minister.

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

Pilot had last month defied a warning from the party and went ahead with a day-long fast targeting Gehlot over his "inaction" on alleged corruption during the previous Raje government. PTI SKC ASK ZMN

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

Follow us on: