20 Apr 2023

Rajasthan Assembly Election-2023: Was Sachin Pilot's Exclusion From Karnataka's Star Campaigners List Predictable?

JAIPUR: Amidst the ongoing tussle in the Congress, the party has not made Sachin Pilot a star campaigner for the Karnataka assembly elections, while CM Ashok Gehlot is the star campaigner. Till now Pilot has been the star campaigner of the party in every election, this is the first time that he has not been made the star campaigner in the assembly elections.

But Pilot's exclusion has not come as a surprise as recently he again raised in public meetings the issue of corruption in previous government and skipped a key party meeting held in Jaipur on Wednesday. This has irked the party and State in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said – I am against those who are against the party

On the other hand, former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who joined the Congress this week after quitting the BJP, figures in the Congress' list of star campaigners for the Karnataka assembly elections that also includes party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor.

However, along with CM Ashok Gehlot, the name of Sachin Pilot is also there in the list of star campaigners in the Lok Sabha by-election for Jalandhar seat in Punjab. In Punjab, MLA and in-charge Harish Chaudhary Kar's name is also among the star campaigners.

Party's internal tussle led to Pilot's exclusion?

There are many speculations in the Congress regarding not making Sachin Pilot a star campaigner in the Karnataka assembly elections. This is being seen as the result of Pilot's recent fast. The internal tussle of the party is also believed to be the reason behind making him a star campaigner in the Punjab by-elections and being dropped from Karnataka. 

According to political experts, Randeep Surjewala is in charge of Karnataka, the political relations between Pilot and Surjewala are strained and this is also believed to be one of the reasons for Pilot's exclusion from the list of star campaigners.

Pilot again raised issue of corruption in public meetings

Pilot held two public meetings in Jaipur and Jhunjhunu districts on Monday where he said that no action has been taken on the corruption during the previous government though he had been writing letters and appealing to the party. 

He said it has been a week, but there has been no action on his demands against corruption and asked CM Gehlot to act on it. He said he can’t tolerate corruption and he isn’t opposed to any particular person. 

Pilot did not turn up at Congress convention

Besides, on Wednesday Sachin Pilot did not turn up at the Congress convention at Birla Auditorium in Jaipur. This was seen as a rebellious attitude of Pilot.

State in-charge Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said – I am against those who are against the party. State President Govind Singh Dotasra stood up as a sign of support. He told the Congress leaders – whatever the in-charge is saying. That is hundred percent true. We should stand up and support him. All the leaders and workers present on this first raised their hands in support. It is being linked to the Sachin Pilot episode.

I am seeing who is working for party and who is creating problems: Randhawa

Randhawa said that Pilot should have raised the matter of not taking action in the alleged corruption cases during the Vasundhara Raje government during the debate in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. His fast was not right. He further said that he is seeing who is working for the party and who is creating problems.

Political experts also  believe that the current infighting between the Gehlot and Pilot factions in Congress is not for the chief minister’s post, but for getting the party ticket for their people. It is believed he person who managed to secure more Assembly tickets for his supporters will become the leader in the state in the future and will also have the chance to become the chief minister of the state.

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