Sachin Pilot to snap ties with Congress; likely to launch new party on June 11

Sachin Pilot
There is intense speculation that Sachin Pilot is all set to make a major announcement on June 11, the death anniversary of his father Rajesh Pilot. File Photo: IANS

Former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot appears ready to sever his ties with the Congress and go his own way. Engaged in a bitter tussle for supremacy with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Pilot is learnt to be on the verge of launching his own party just months ahead of elections in the state.

It is learnt that Pilot is being helped in the process by Prashant Kishor's political consultancy firm I-PAC. Volunteers of I-PAC are believed to have helped Pilot in planning his one-day hunger strike on April 11, which was to demand action by the Gehlot government on alleged corruption during Vasundhara Raje's term as chief minister. The firm is learnt to have also been involved in planning Pilot's five-day Padayatra which he undertook from Ajmer to Jaipur to press for action on the issue of question paper leak in recruitment examinations.

At the culmination of the yatra on May 15, Pilot had addressed a rally on the outskirts of Jaipur in which he had made three demands of the Gehlot government – action against alleged corruption during the Raje government, reconstitution of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission and compensation for the youth affected by the exam paper leak. He had set a deadline of May 31 for the demands to be met, threatening to launch a state-wide agitation if the demands were not fulfilled.

There is intense speculation that Pilot is all set to make a major announcement on June 11, the death anniversary of his father Rajesh Pilot. He is scheduled to hold a rally to mark the occasion and is learnt to be firming up plans to announce the launch of his party then. It is also learnt that the new party could be called 'Pragatisheel Congress'.

The deep divide in the state Congress have been only too visible despite the central leadership getting Gehlot and Pilot to do a joint photo op after a meeting with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former party president Rahul Gandhi on May 29. On May 31, Pilot, during a visit to his constituency Tonk, told reporters that he could not make any compromises with the three demands that he had put forth for the Gehlot government.

(This Article first appeared on The Week)

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