Sachin Pilot is the Congress’s “best and brightest” and it is sad to see him leave, party MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted on Tuesday after the former Union minister was sacked from the Rajasthan government, following a political crisis triggered by the long-drawn power tussle with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
“I am sad to see Sachin Pilot leave Congress. I consider him one of our best and brightest, and wish it had not come to this. Instead of parting, he should have joined the effort to make the party a better and more effective instrument for his, and our, dreams,” he tweeted.
I am sad to see @SachinPilot leave @INCIndia. I consider him one of our best & brightest, and wish it had not come to this. Instead of parting, he should have joined the effort to make the Party a better& more effective instrument for his, and our, dreams.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 14, 2020
Mr Pilot, who was forced to stand down from the contention for the Chief Minister’s post in 2018, was on Tuesday sacked from his Deputy Chief Minister and the Rajasthan Congress chief posts.
The decision was taken after he skipped two meets of the party legislatures.
Mr Pilot has always had frictions with Mr Gehlot. However, the differences escalated into a crisis after he was asked by a probe team to join an investigation linked to the alleged attempts of destabilising the state government.
His team, which was staying at a hotel in the national capital, initially claimed they had the support of 30 MLAs, enough to put the Gehlot government jeopardy. Sources, however, said he has at least 20 MLAs on his side – 17 Congress and three independent legislators.
Before Sachin Pilot’s rebellion, the Congress had 107 MLAs besides the support of 13 independents and five members from smaller parties. That number has now come down to 90 Congress MLAs, seven independent members and three from smaller parties – 100.
Mr Gehlot on Monday transported the MLAs to a hotel in buses.
Mr Pilot will address a press conference on Wednesday morning in which he is expected to put in his papers. He had denied that he is joining the BJP but sources say he was in touch with the party.
It will be the second high-profile exit from the party within months – in March, Jyotiraditya Scindia’s departure along with 22 MLAs had resulted in the collapse of Kamal Nath’s Madhya Pradesh government.
The Congress alleges that Mr Pilot’s help, the BJP is engineering a Madhya Pradesh-like fall of the Rajasthan government.