No to BSP? Sachin Pilot Says Congress Can Take on BJP in Rajasthan Without Help From Others
Seeking to downplay unresolved leadership issues in poll-bound Rajasthan, state Congress chief Sachin Pilot has indicated party may not name a chief ministerial candidate in the elections slated for December this year.
In an exclusive interview to News18, Pilot said “no leader can be the face or the factor” in the election. And that Congress president Rahul Gandhi “will decide who will be the chief minister”, if party were to win power in Rajasthan.
With the appointment of former state CM and political heavyweight Ashok Gehlot as national general secretary in-charge of organisation, it was widely expected that party will put its weight behind Pilot to lead the campaign. But with Gehlot still well entrenched in the state politics, it now appears Congress may want to maintain the ambiguity on leadership issue to keep all groups interested.
Pilot is also averse to tactical alliance with smaller parties in the state. “We are competent to fight all the seats against the BJP,” he said.
The statement of alliance is being seen in context of aversion within the state Congress for any tie-up with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). While the Congress is willing to share political space with Mayawati in other states, like MP and Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan’s social complexities and caste calculus may not add heft to party’s bid to win power in the desert state.
The state Congress president feels Congress should have alliances wherever necessary as in the case of Karnataka, indicating Rajasthan may be treated as an exception and not a template since Congress is strong enough to take on the BJP without support from smaller parties.