NEW DELHI: The Congress party on Tuesday dropped Sachin Pilot from the Rajasthan Cabinet and also removed him from the post of party's state unit head.
The move followed Pilot skipping a party meeting, the second in two days. The Congress had warned of action against those who skipped today's meeting. On Monday, the Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party had passed a resolution to extend support to the Ashok Gehlot-led government, which Pilot claimed, has been reduced to a minority.
"With a heavy heart and regret, Congress party has taken certain decisions today. Sachin Pilot, Vishwendra Singh, Ramesh Meena are being removed from the post of deputy chief minister and ministers respectively," Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters in Jaipur after a meeting of the legislative party.
Pilot had claimed support of 30 MLAs.
Soon after the announcement, Gehlot headed to Raj Bhavan to meet governor Kalraj Mishra. According to people aware of developments, Gehlot is expected to formally request the governor for removal of Pilot and other ministers from his cabinet.
In a cryptic response to the developments of past three days, Pilot in a post on Twitter said, "Truth can be disturbed, not defeated."
The development is significant because Pilot, 42, has been associated with the party for a long time now and was considered close to Rahul Gandhi. Son of senior Congress leader Rajesh Pilot, his family has had political ties with Congress for decades now.
Sachin Pilot has served as two-time Lok Sabha member, union minister, and was made the state unit chief in 2014 and took over as deputy chief minister in 2018.
Surjewala announced that party has Govind Singh Dotasara was chosen to succeed Pilot as the state unit chief. Surjewala was accompanied by Congress’ general secretary in-charge KC Venugopal and senior leader Ajay Maken.
Despite being in government together, Pilot and Gehlot have been at loggerheads for a long time now.