Rajasthan political crisis: Priya Dutt backs Sachin Pilot; says not wrong to be ambitious

Former MP Priya Dutt has expressed disappointment over the removal of rebel Sachin Pilot from the posts of Rajasthan deputy chief minister and Congress state unit chief. She opined that there was nothing wrong with being ambitious.

“Another friend leaves the party. Both Sachin and Jyotiraditya were colleagues and good friends. Unfortunately, our party has lost two stalwart young leaders with great potential. I don’t believe being ambitious is wrong. They have worked hard through the most difficult times,’’ Dutt said in her tweet.

Priya and Sachin are good friends. It was since the days when Priya’s father and former union minister Sunil Dutt and Sachin’s father and former union minister Rajesh Pilot were quite close to each other. The friendship between Priya and Sachin grew when they were in the coterie of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi. When Priya was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009, Sachin was the union minister of state for corporate affairs in the council of ministers led by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Meanwhile, former Union minister and Pilot's ''colleague and friend'' Jitin Prasada said no one can take away the fact that Sachin Pilot has long worked with dedication for the Congress. Considered a prominent leader of the party's ''young brigade'', Prasada expressed the hope that the situation can be salvaged. "Sachin Pilot is not just a colleague but my friend. No one can take away the fact that all these years he has worked with dedication for the party," Prasada tweeted. "Sincerely hope the situation can still be salvaged.

On Friday, the Congress party also suspended former Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha for anti-party activities. Jha, who has been vocal about the need for a clean-up within the Congress for the past month. The final straw probably came while he called the party ‘Jurassic’ during an interview with a news channel following Pilot’s sacking from the party.

Notably, Pilot has said that he will not be joining the BJP. More importantly, one must also assume that he won’t get support from the party, given that he has the support of only 30 MLAs. As veteran journalist Srinivasan Jain pointed out on Wednesday, Pilot should have had the support of at least 50 MLAs before starting the revolt.

However, Pilot may be looking to form his own party, the Pragatisheel Congress. Once the party is formed, it will be interesting to see how many people from the current crop in Congress switch loyalties.

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