Rajasthan Congress leader Sachin Pilot met with party colleagues Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi today for a second time in less than a week. The Gandhis want Mr Pilot to be in-charge of Gujarat, where assembly elections will be held next year, sources have said.
Mr Pilot, however, continues to insist on extracting an assurance of being made Rajasthan Chief Minister, sources have said. This meeting is being seen as an attempt by the Gandhis to defer a leadership change in Rajasthan.
The 45-minute discussion between Mr Pilot and the Gandhis in Delhi comes days after the Congress settled its affairs in neighbouring Punjab – where elections are also due early next year – by appointing a new chief minister.
Whether Mr Pilot, 44, has agreed to manage the Congress’s Gujarat campaign is not known; however, he is known to have his own ambitions in Rajasthan, where Ashok Gehlot, 70, is the Chief Minister.
Mr Pilot has been waiting to see his loyalists inducted into the Rajasthan cabinet, and this matter was likely discussed during his meeting with the Gandhis.
Mr Gehlot has been under pressure for a while to go for a cabinet expansion to accommodate Mr Pilot’s loyalists. So far the Chief Minister has resisted making the changes that his party leadership had promised to Mr Pilot, who was Deputy Chief Minister till June last year when he was made to resign by the party.