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Rajasthan: Congress leaders start one-to-one dialogue with MLAs, Sachin Pilot skips interaction

JAIPUR: The ruling Congress in Rajasthan on Monday began a series of individual meetings between MLAs and senior leaders to gear up the party for the upcoming assembly polls.

Former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, who has been involved in a leadership tussle with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, skipped his interaction.

AICC incharge for Rajasthan Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Gehlot and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Govind Singh Dotasra held one-on-one meetings with MLAs from districts that come under Ajmer and Jodhpur divisions.

Pilot, who recently opened another front against Gehlot over inaction on alleged corruption under the erstwhile Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government, skipped the meeting. The Tonk MLA addressed two scheduled public meetings in Shahpura (Jaipur) and Khetri (Jhunjhunu).

Tonk comes under the Ajmer division.

Pilot told reporters in Khetri that he already had two programmes scheduled for the day and therefore he could not attend the meeting in Jaipur.

He said he had already communicated his point of view to the party leadership during AICC meetings and during his recent visit to Delhi.

Gehlot and Pilot have been involved in a power tussle in the state since the Congress formed the government in December 2018.

Both Gehlot and Pilot were keen on the chief minister’s post when the party won the state in 2018. But the Congress high command picked Gehlot for the top post for a third time.

On April 11, Pilot sat on a fast in Jaipur against ”inaction” by the Gehlot government in alleged cases of corruption during Raje’s tenure as chief minister, defying the Congress central leadership’s warning that the move would amount to ”anti-party” activity.

Other legislators from Ajmer, Bhilwara, Tonk, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Sirohi, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jalore and Pali reached the PCC’s new office and shared feedback about their constituencies, a party spokesperson said.

Randhawa, Gehlot and Dotasra called the MLAs one by one and talked to them about issues of their constituencies, caste equations, execution of government schemes, feedback regarding the announcement of new districts, plan to counter anti-incumbency, assessment of third force on their seats, social media presence, and public mood regarding elections.

Party sources said the MLAs have been directed to make inflation relief camps, which will be organised in the state from April 24, successful. The state government will set up inflation relief camps, along with ‘Prashasan Shehron/Gaon ke Sang’ in the state to inform people about welfare schemes and link them to these initiatives.

The MLAs were asked to ensure that the benefits of state government schemes and programmes reach the maximum number of people so that it can translate into votes for the party in the elections, the sources said.

”The party is aiming to return to power in the upcoming assembly elections on the basis of the work done by the Gehlot government. But for this, it is important to publicise the (government) schemes in a planned and coordinated manner,” a Congress leader said.

Earlier, former minister and Kekri MLA (Ajmer) Raghu Sharma said, ”It is the year of elections, every party prepares for the elections. The exercise which began today is necessary from the election point of view.” Masuda MLA Rakesh Pareek, a Pilot loyalist, said no one can stop the Congress from returning to power in Rajasthan if the party high command brings together Gehlot and Pilot.

”Rahul Gandhi and the party high command have called both Gehlot and Pilot assets of the Congress. If the party contests elections by bringing them together, no one can stop the Congress from winning the assembly polls again,” Pareek said.

During his meeting with the senior party leaders, Pareek said, he told them about Pilot’s influence in Ajmer.

”I told them about the influence of Sachin Pilot in Ajmer. He has been an MP from Ajmer and has a huge number of supporters there,” he said.

He said he also shared feedback about his constituency and told the leaders what needs to be done at the level of the government and the party organisation to strengthen the Congress in Mausda.

The Congress will organise a day-long workshop for party officials and MLAs on Wednesday and a dialogue programme in Bikaner and Jaipur on Thursday, the party spokesperson said.


Source: Press Trust of India

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