Rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot, in an exclusive interview with an renowned News Agency, denied the fact that he was joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. He also cleared that he will continue to be a legislator from Rajasthan’s Tonk constituency.
On the flipside, he made it very clear that he would not compromise on his self-respect and would decide on his next course after talking to his supporters.
“The propaganda that I am joining the BJP is absolutely false. There seems to be a planned effort to tarnish my name and image. No, I am not joining the BJP,” Mr. Pilot told The News Agency over a phone call.
The former Rajasthan Congress chief, who was suspended from the party yesterday, also confirmed that he had been in touch with party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra but “those talks have not led to any resolution.”
On a day when the Congress initiated moves to disqualify Mr. Pilot and his supporters as lawmakers in the Rajasthan Assembly, he countered by asserting that he had not said anything against the party.
“I have not spoken a word against my party,” Mr. Pilot said, adding “I am here with my genuine grievances against Ashok Gehlot ji.”
When asked about his main grievance, Mr. Pilot said, “The notice [sent by Special Operations Group (SOG)] and the humiliation that I have had to face in the past one-and-a-half years.”
This fight for power between Mr. Gehlot and his deputy had been going on for quite some time but the latest fire was triggered by a notice from the SOG of Rajasthan police to the Deputy Chief Minister.
The SOG had sought time from Mr. Pilot to record his statement in a case of conspiracy and sedition registered after attempts were allegedly made by the BJP to bribe Congress MLAs to switch sides during last month’s Rajya Sabha elections.
But Mr. Gehlot, on Twitter, had pointed out that the notice was misinterpreted, as a similar notice was sent to the Chief Minister as well and the Congress had lodged a criminal complaint about attempted poaching.