Kin of Pulwama martyrs meet Congress leader Sachin Pilot at his residence, in Jaipur, on Monday. (Twitter)
“It’s got to do with the martyrs’ families. The state must meet and do whatever it can for them. Give them a patient hearing,” former deputy CM Sachin Pilot tells News18, even as CM Gehlot has said meeting the demand would set a “bad precedent”
The scenes of protest by the Pulwama martyrs’ families is making the central Congress leadership edgy and sit up. Widows of three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans from Rajasthan, who were killed in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack, have been protesting since February 28. They have been camping outside former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot’s residence in Jaipur since Monday.
No, it’s not just that the party is worried that it could be used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to accuse the Congress of being against the Army and anti-national. It is making it wonder whether this is yet another instance of shadow boxing between Pilot and CM Ashok Gehlot.
This, because Gehlot in a detailed statement, explained why meeting the demand of the martyrs’ family would set a bad precedent and take away the priority which should be reserved for the immediate family of martyrs.
The worry is that the dharna has been taking place also outside the Jaipur residence of Pilot and the former deputy CM has met with the family. Not just this, Pilot has also appealed to the state government to help out.
Speaking to News18, Sachin Pilot said, “It’s got to do with the martyrs’ families. The state government must meet and do whatever it can for them. Give them a patient hearing.”
The dig here is also that so far neither the CM nor anyone from the CMO has met the family.
It’s got to do with the martyrs’ families. The state government must meet and do whatever it can for them. Give them a patient hearing. This has got nothing to do with the party. It’s about our Armed forces and we must respect and give dignity to those who fight for our country.
But when Sachin Pilot speaks up for the martyr’s family, is he also speaking out against the Gehlot government? Especially, when Gehlot, in his statement, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of politicizing the event and spreading misinformation.
Pilot’s name was not mentioned, but was it hinted at?
शहीद देश का गौरव होते हैं और उनकी वीरांगनाओं की मांगों को संवेदनशीलता से सुनने की आवश्यकता है।मेरा सरकार से निवेदन है कि विनम्रता से उनका पक्ष सुनकर उचित और अति शीघ्र न्याय दिलाए। pic.twitter.com/UKp7Ao7Qwu
— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) March 6, 2023
Gehlot, in his last meeting with Sonia Gandhi, had told her through a letter that often Pilot would speak a language which played into the BJP’s hand.
Pilot has denied this, telling News18: “This has got nothing to do with the party. It’s about our Armed forces and we must respect and give dignity to those who fight for our country.”
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As the BJP steps up its campaign against the Gehlot government on this, and with Pilot as a commissioned officer of the Territorial Army as appointed by the central government, the knives are out in an election year.
The worry is not just the BJP versus Congress, the larger worry is Congress versus Congress again. And an issue which Pilot could use to strike at the Gehlot government.
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