Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai)

Sachin Pilot: Truth can be harassed, but not defeated

- ››P5

The Rajasthan chief minister appears to have a slender majority in the assembly. He has also pushed out his rival,

Pilot, from the power structure in Congress.

This may seem like a victory for Gehlot. But this is laced with challenges. Retaining his majority will be difficult and the government’s survival will be constantly under threat. Irrespecti­ve of what Pilot does next, Gehlot will also have to deal with the a new opposition — led by the young, charismati­c leader — along with the challenge he faces from the BJP. The road ahead is tough for the chief minister

For Pilot himself, a long associatio­n with the

Congress — as MP, central minister, state unit chief, deputy CM — is now coming to an end. Even though he hasn’t been expelled yet, nor has he quit, it is clear that his presence in the Congress is no longer tenable. Pilot is likely to form a regional party rather than going with the BJP. In either case, however, his immediate success will be determined by whether he is able to topple the Gehlot government and become the CM himself. But his longer term future depends on whether he is able to build his mass base, and how he carves out his political identity in a post-congress life

Even if its government in Rajasthan survives, the loss of Pilot is a huge setback to the Congress. This will, once again, raise questions about the ability of the top Congress leadership to manage conflicts, retain talent, accommodat­e aspiration­s, and revive the party

The crisis has come as an opportunit­y for the BJP. The party can now sense the possibilit­y of ousting the Gehlot government. But the BJP, too, has hard choices to make, for it is not clear whether the numbers are stacked up in its favour in the assembly

NEWDELHI:SACHIN Pilot broke his silence amid the turmoil in Rajasthan’s government on Tuesday and thanked his supporters shortly after the Congress removed him as the deputy chief minister and state unit chief. Earlier in the day, he tweeted in Hindi, “Truth can be harassed, but not defeated.”

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