Rajasthan political turmoil: Congress sacks Sachin Pilot, 3 ministers from Gehlot...

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Sachin Pilot, the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and two ministers in his camp have been dropped from the Ashok Gehlot cabinet, the Congress announced on Tuesday afternoon after the 42-year-old leader credited with leading the party’s successful campaign in the last elections refused to stand down.

Pilot had stayed away from the Congress legislature meeting in Jaipur on Monday that recommended action against him and other lawmakers of his camp. They had argued that if the party didn’t act against the rebels, it would send a wrong message.

Also read: ‘Unprecedented’ - Pilot supporters’ sharp message on Rajasthan development

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot drove down to Raj Bhavan to make a formal request to the governor to drop Pilot and three ministers from his cabinet as soon as the meeting of lawmakers was over.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala stayed back to make the announcement. The Congress party regrets that deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and some of his supporting MLAs fell into the opposition BJP’s trap to destabilise the Gehlot government, he told the news conference before announcing Pilot’s sacking.

Pilot has also been sacked as Rajasthan Congress chief. He has been replaced by Govind Singh Dotasara, the minister of education and tourism in Gehlot’s cabinet.

Congress lawmaker Ganesh Ghogra has been appointed to head the state’s youth Congress unit, replacing Mukesh Bhakar.

It is unfortunate that Sachin Pilot and some MLAs supporting him were misguided and became part of the conspiracy of the BJP to topple the Gehlot government. The Congress leader also listed the many posts that Pilot had been appointed to by the Congress, a reference to suggestions that he wanted the party to edge out Ashok Gehlot and appoint him as Rajasthan chief minister.

“The party always promoted Pilot from a very young age. He became an MP at 26, Union minister at 30-32, a State unit president at 34 and deputy chief minister at 40,” Surjewala said.

The Congress said Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other senior party leaders had tried to touch base with Sachin Pilot but in vain.

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