Disgruntled Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Wednesday confirmed that he is not joining the BJP and said, "I have worked very hard to bring the Congress party back in the government and defeat the BJP."
Pilot's remark comes a day after the Congress sacked him as Rajasthan's Deputy Chief Minister and the party's state unit president. Two loyalists of Pilot were also dropped from the state Cabinet.
Pilot added that some leaders in Rajasthan were trying to fuel speculation that he is joining the BJP and that he would like to categorically state that he was not doing so. "Such a speculation is being fuelled to tarnish my image," he said.
"Truth can be rattled, not defeated," he had tweeted after his ouster. Gehlot has accused his former deputy of playing into the hands of the BJP.
Meanwhile, amid the Sachin Pilot episode, many Congress leaders suggested trouble in the grand-old party.
Senior leader Kapil Sibal said that he was worried for the party. He wrote, "Will we wake up only after the horses have bolted from our stables?"
PC Chidambaram’s son Karti, a first-time MP, also wrote: “Why is @Google a successful company? Because it lets talent to become entrepreneurial within the organisation. Lessons to be learnt here.”
Sanjay Jha, who was on Tuesday suspended with immediate effect “for anti-party activities and breach of discipline”, said that Sachin Pilot gave his blood, tears and sweat for the Congress party between 2013-18. "The Congress came back from a wretched 21 seats to 100. We just gave him a performance bonus. We are so meritocratic. We are so transparent," he said sarcastically.
Priya Dutt said that there is nothing wrong with being ambitious. She urged the party to introspect to understand what's creating this internal revolt.
"Another friend leaves the party both sachin and jyotirajya were colleagues & good friends unfortunately our party has lost 2 stalwart young leaders with great potential. I don't believe being ambitious is wrong. They have worked hard through the most difficult times," she tweeted.
"Read all the tweets and want to say that congress was, is and always will be. It is aspirations of the the young and restless that need to be directed and used well for the benefit of the party. The party must introspect to understand what's creating this internal revolt," she added.
Senior leader Salman Khurshid wrote, "Interesting that many of our colleagues have become ‘leaders’ because of generous support of top leadership and demand more support because of being ‘leaders’. Trust and allegiance cannot be conditional. It is there or it is not."
Shashi Tharoor seemed to suggest winds of change were approaching when he wrote on Twitter, “I passionately believe that our country needs a genuinely liberal party headed by centrist professionals committed to inclusive politics and respectful of India’s pluralism. All who believe in the founding values of the Republic must work to strengthen @INCIndia not undermine it.”
In a column in the Indian Express, Mani Shankar Aiyar wrote, "Pilot and Scindia may sing, “Cry for me, India”, and the media may join them, but the Congress is going to wipe its tears and walk away from them to its own Destiny." "They are welcome to wend their way where they will (or back into the Congress, which is, after all, like a dharamshala) but the lesson for the Congress is that we need a hands-on leader who enjoys the confidence of the party. That boils down the options to three: Sonia or Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. This is written into the party’s DNA. Any one of them will do," he added.