Congress rebel Sachin Pilot, after daylong deliberations to chart out a path for reconciliation with the party, told reporters this evening that his rebellion was meant to flag “ideological issues”. He also thanked Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for “taking the time to hear us out”.
Earlier today, in a first since he started his revolt last month, Mr Pilot met Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to work a way out of the impasse that has kept the Ashok Gehlot government on the edge of collapse for a month.
The 42-year-old, who has repeatedly denied reports that he was joining the BJP, now said, “There were some issues which we wanted to highlight. I did that”.
“I had been saying since beginning that all these things were based on principle. I always thought it was essential to raise these things in the party’s interest,” he added.
The rebel leader who commands the loyalty of 18 MLAs, have been pressing for a change in leadership in the state.
Mr Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot have been out of step since they took charge of the state after the 2018 assembly elections.
Mr Pilot, widely seen as the architect of the party’s resurgence in the state, had aspired to the top post, but accepted the role of Mr Gehlot’s second-in-command after the intervention of Rahul Gandhi.
The breaking point came when the state police insisted on questioning him in a case involving alleged sedition. Over the subsequent weeks, Mr Gehlot accused his former deputy of deal-making with the BJP to topple his government and made strong remarks about politicians who bank on their looks and English language proficiency.
“We have come to power by working with the party,” Mr Pilot told reporters today.
“Ashok Gehlot was made the Chief Minister after the victory in the election. I was made the deputy. I don’t want to address my issues in front of the media… … I have never said or done anything that does not befit me,” he told reporters,” he added.