Sachin Pilot loyalists flex muscles ahead of Congress Yatra, want Ashok Gehlot replaced as CM | India News – Times of India

JAIPUR: A Rajasthan minister and another leader on Monday sought the removal of Ashok Gehlot as chief minister, a sign of the Sachin Pilot group in the party’s state unit flexing its muscles days before Rahul Gandhi‘s Bharat Jodo Yatra enters the Congress-ruled state.
In separate interactions with reporters, Rajasthan forest minister Hemaram Chaudhary and state agriculture industry board vice president Suchitra Arya batted for the appointment of former deputy CM Pilot as the chief minister.
Chaudhary was part of the Pilot-led rebellion in the Rajasthan Congress in 2020, when a group of 19 MLAs sought Gehlot’s removal.
And this September, a large group of Gehlot loyalists boycotted a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting that was seen as a step towards picking Pilot as the next CM, if Gehlot became the party’s national president.
“I think that a new face should be given a chance in times to come. The party leadership should decide on this without waiting much. It would benefit the party,” Chaudhary told reporters in Barmer.
He said Pilot played an important role in reviving the Congress in Rajasthan and it came to power in 2018.
The minister said Pilot doesn’t hold any post now despite the hard work he put in. “He should be given a responsibility. The party high command has to decide what responsibility should be given to him.”
In Jaipur, state agriculture industry board vice president Arya said Pilot should be made the chief minister.
If the situation doesn’t change, the party will collapse, she told reporters.
“Sachin Pilot is an important face and lakhs of people come to hear him. It’s the limit now; he should be made the chief minister,” she said.
Arya said if Pilot is made the CM, the Congress will return to power. The assembly elections are due next year.
Party leader Ajay Maken, who came to Jaipur with Mallikarjun Kharge in September to hold the aborted CLP meeting, recently expressed his unwillingness to continue as the Rajasthan in-charge at the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
In a letter to Kharge, now the Congress president, he cited the developments of September 25 when a large number of MLAs held a meeting at the home of Rajasthan Parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal instead of attending the CLP meeting.
After the meeting, more than 80 MLAs, all Ashok Gehlot loyalists, reportedly submitted their resignations to assembly Speaker CP Joshi over the apparent move to appoint Pilot as the CM.
The resignations have not been accepted so far.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which began from Kanyakumari, is set to enter Rajasthan around December 3.

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