In his first comments on the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia from the Congress, Sachin Pilot today said it was "unfortunate" and that he wished it could have been resolved "collaboratively". Mr Scindia, sidelined in the party and the state, quit the Congress yesterday. This afternoon, he joined the BJP.
"Unfortunate to see @JM_Scindia parting ways with @INCIndia. I wish things could have been resolved collaboratively within the party," Sachin Pilot's tweet read.Since Mr Scindia's exit, all eyes have been on the Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister, whose relation with his boss has been frosty for months.Like Mr Scindia, the top post in the state had eluded Mr Pilot.
After the assembly election of 2018, Rahul Gandhi had persuaded Mr Pilot to give up his claim for the Chief Minister's post when Ashok Gehlot had convinced the central leaders that he would be able to deliver good results in the Lok Sabha election.Mr Pilot had to accept the post of Mr Gehlot's deputy, but the tension between the two rose again after the Lok Sabha polls, when the Congress failed to win a single seat in the state.Sachin Pilot called for accountability and his loyalists called for a change in leadership. Over the last months, Mr Pilot had criticised the state government on several occasions.Ashok Gehlot, who had ripped into Mr Scindia yesterday, accusing him of betraying the "ideology" and the "trust of the people", posted another set of tweets today.One of the posts, which did not name Jyotiraditya Scindia, read: "The sooner opportunists leave, the better. Congress party gave so much, held various posts for 17-18 years, was made an MP, a Union Minister. Despite all this, what came out was just an opportunist, public would never forgive."Both Mr Scindia and Mr Pilot were among the young leaders who had gathered around Rahul Gandhi and had hoped to grow with him. But after Mr Gandhi stepped down from the party chief's post last year following the Congress's decimation in the Lok Sabha elections, the young brigade had floundered. A face-off between them and party veterans started after Sonia Gandhi took charge of the party again.Yesterday, speaking of Mr Schindia's exit from the party, his cousin and erstwhile Tripura royal Pradyot Manikya Debbarma, had underscored Rahul Gandhi's role in the matter.Claiming that Mr Scindia had tried to meet Mr Gandhi several times, Mr Debbarma had said, "If he (Rahul Gandhi) did not want to hear us, why did he even bring us in the party… When our leader is not hearing us and the old guards are picking is off one by one, then it is time to move on".Rahul Gandhi had denied the allegation today, saying Mr Scindia was the only Congress leader who could walk into his house "any time".