Pilot will not join BJP, reveal sources; but speaks with friend Scindia while incommunicado

New Delhi (IANS) Amid the raging political crisis in Rajasthan and a catalogue of speculation, sources aware about the developments revealed that the Rajasthan's Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress President Sachin Pilot will not join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Upset and angry over the sedition charges being levelled against him by the state special operations group (SOG), as one of his supporters said it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, Pilot decided that enough was enough and made his move.

While in Delhi, Pilot reportedly had a telephonic conversation with former colleague turned BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, on Sunday, said sources close to Scindia.

Pilot is reportedly furious that he and his supporters have been humiliated time and again by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, moreover many of his supporting MLAs have been followed by CID and daily reports are filed by them with the CM's office on who they have met and spoken with. The SOG summons for questioning over allegations of destabilising the government has got Pilot's goat.

A clearer picture is likely to emerge over the next two days when Pilot comes out from his self-styled incommunicado status. Sources added that Pilot wants a middle ground needs to be found in Rajasthan by the Congress leadership, some sort of balancing act between the CM and his deputy. In the recent past, Congress sources averred that Pilot spoke to Ahmed Patel and K C Venugopal and mentioned how he is been humiliated virtually daily by the CM.

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Meanwhile, sources who could not confirm what the two leaders - Pilot and Scindia - spoke about, added, "The two have worked together for years. But ever since Scindia joined the BJP along with his supporters, both Pilot and Scindia have been in regular telephonic contact."

On Sunday, Scindia came out in support of Pilot, alleging the Rajasthan Chief Minister had "persecuted" his deputy. In a tweet that further intensified speculations about Sachin Pilot's future in the Congress, Scindia said, "Sad to see my erstwhile colleague, Sachin Pilot too, being sidelined and persecuted by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot. Shows that talent and capability find little credence in the Congress."

On Sunday late evening, after they spoke over phone, Pilot asserted that he will not attend the legislative party meeting scheduled to be held on Monday morning and has openly announced that the Ashok Gehlot-led government in the state is in minority after over 30 Congress and some Independent MLAs pledged support to him.

Pilot, upset at being summoned by the police of his own government, came to Delhi to meet interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. However, he received no communication from the party leadership.

Meanwhile, Gehlot, sources said, has apprised Sonia Gandhi, Rajasthan party affairs incharge Avinash Pandey, and Congress General Secretary (Organisation) K.C. Venugopal of the developments in the state.

But Pilot's brazen defiance of Gehlot and a telephone conversation with BJP Leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has left the Congress wary.

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