In a sharp attack, Sachin Pilot on Friday slammed BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi for claiming that the disgruntled Congress leader will “soon join the saffron party”. “She may have spoken to Sachin Tendulkar and not me,” Pilot said.
“Rita Bahuguna Joshi has said she has spoken to Sachin. She might have spoken to Sachin Tendulkar. She doesn’t have the courage to speak to me,” Pilot told news agency ANI.
On Thursday, Joshi told Aaj Tak that “Sachin will also join the BJP soon. The party (Congress) has been mistreating him.” Joshi was the former UP Congress chief and quit the grand old party ahead of 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
After former Union Minister Jitin Prasad’s exit from the Congress, speculations have been doing the rounds that former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, too, will quit the grand old party. Pilot will reportedly reach Delhi on Friday amid rumours of discontentment.
The senior party leader is currently in Dausa to mark his father’s death anniversary and has asked his supporters to not visit him there. He will be in Jaipur at 11am to protest against rising fuel prices.
This is not the first time that rumours of an internal tiff have surfaced. Ashok Gehlot and Pilot supporters have been at loggerheads at regular intervals ever since Gehlot became chief minister.
The MLAs of his camp had expressed displeasure over the delay by the Congress in resolving the issues raised by their leader. Around half-a-dozen MLAs close to Pilot met him at his Civil Lines residence in Jaipur on Thursday.
Former minister Vishvendra Singh held a one-on-one meeting with the former Union minister earlier on Thursday. Later, Ved Prakash Solanki, Mukhesh Bhakar and Ramniwas Gawria met Pilot. Rakesh Pareek also reached his residence.
Solanki, Bhakar and Gawria raised questions on the delay in the cabinet expansion and political appointments by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. They said they will fight within the Congress party and firmly stand with Pilot.
“All of us are raising our voice for the strength of the party. Those who question our allegiance to the Congress are not well-wishers of the party,” Solanki, the MLA from Chaksu (Jaipur), told reporters after meeting Pilot.