By B S Reporter
Pilot said that the hunger strike is in protest of Gehlot government's inaction over the alleged corruption charges the Congress levelled against Vasundhara Raje during its run up to power in 2018.
Congress then had raised voices about scams worth Rs 45,000 crore and had promised to investigate these scams in a fair manner and punish the guilty.
“Congress had promised action against the corruption charges on BJP government during the last election campaign. I as the state president must have raised the voice stronger than Ashok ji, who had lambasted Raje and her government over corruption charges at several occasions and in Vidhan Sabha also. But no investigation or any action has taken place so far. Public is considering our promises as farce and just tools to win elections. I am going for the hunger strike to trigger government for taking the promised action,” Pilot told media.
Pilot starts unravelling secret suggestions
Pilot has so far been secretive about the suggestions he had given Congress high command for the repeat of power in Rajasthan. Whenever media asked him about the suggestions, he had maintained that the discussions were between him and the high command and not for the public. But he unfolded the first knot saying that the action against the previous Raje government over corruption charges was one of those suggestions he had made, hinting that cat will soon be out of the bag.
“It was one of the suggestions I had made to the high command for repeat for rule in Rajasthan,” Pilot announced.
Political observers believe that if Gehlot or high command continue to lend deaf ears to Pilot the young turk will make all the ‘secret suggestions' public.
“Pilot's patience runs out. It seems to be make or mar for him. With no time left and little hopes from high command, Pilot will go for the final assault. Whether Pilot sinks or Gehlot dives, It will be either way damage the prospects of the party,” said Rameshwar Lal Sharma, a political observer.
Why Pilot chose April 11?
Sachin Pilot has been sulking for long over his demands not being considered. Last time when he protested against Gehlot government, he had boarded and lodged in a resort in BJP ruled Haryana giving enough ammunition to Gehlot for brandishing him as a BJP minion and Congress' ‘gaddar'. Learning the lesson hard way, Pilot, this time chose to stage hunger strike at Shaheed Smarak, 5 kms from Gehlot's residence and office.
While the choice of venue has its importance, the date too has its own significance. Pilot chose to mark his protest on the birth anniversary of legendary social worker Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, who belonged to Gehlot's Saini community.
Hunger Strike to increase Pilot's political appetite
By announcing hunger strike, Pilot distanced himself from Gehlot government, whom he alleged of inaction against corruption and scams of BJP government.
He also showed videos of statements of Gehlot in the assembly and outside in which he (Gehlot) had levelled corruption allegations against the previous BJP government.
He said that he never called for any malicious action but the credibility that the Congress had built as the opposition party has to be maintained.
Incidentally Pilot was calling the shots in the party when Congress was in opposition while Gehlot is the power centre when the party is ruling.
“With six-seven months left for the elections, the opponents can spread an illusion that there is some collusion. Therefore, action will have to be taken soon so that the Congress workers feel that there is no difference between our words and actions,” he said.
Politics of Letter and ‘Spirit'
The ‘spirited' Pilot said that he had not raised the demand of action against corruption during BJP government only now.
“I wrote a letter to CM Ashok Gehlot on 28 March 2022 and on 2 November 2022, but did not get any answer,”When we were in opposition, at that time we had said that we will investigate corruption in the BJP government. Pilot said.
He said the state government has a “zero tolerance” policy for corruption and to further strengthen it, transparent and effective action should have been taken.
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