Jaipur, Sept 20:
With the Congress winning three of the four assembly seats in the recently held byelections in Rajasthan, state party president Sachin Pilot has silenced his detractors and proven his political acumen – and is now eyeing the civic and panchayat polls later this year or early next year.
“It is a big victory. Traditionally no other party except for the ruling party has won byelections with such a majority in the state. Pilot has really emerged as a hero for the party, which was in complete disarray before the election,” J P Sharma, a keen political watcher, told IANS.
“This win will put Pilot on a firm saddle and will give him a free hand in functioning,” Sharma added.
Pilot, then minister of state for corporate affairs at the centre, was appointed in January, a month after the Congress lost power to the BJP in Rajasthan after winning just 21 of the 200 seats in the state assembly. He lost his Ajmer Lok Sabha seat in the April-May general elections that also saw the Congress make way for the BJP. The Congress couldn’t win even one of Rajasthan’s 25 Lok Sabha seats.
The Congress won from the Weir, Surajgarh and Nasirabad assembly constituencies earlier this week. The BJP took the Kota South seat.
Bypolls were held for all the four seats Sep 13.
Fighting against factionalism in the party and taking on the BJP, Pilot, a tall and amiable 36-year old, has given a new lease of life to the
It was not an easy thing to do. Pilot had to not only boost the morale of party workers but also take everyone along in the assembly polls.
“I got full support from all the seniors of the party in the state,” Pilot told IANS.
“I thank the party workers, (former chief minister) Ashok Gehlot, (former union ministers) Girja Vyas and C.P. Joshi, among others, who stood by me in these polls,” Pilot said.
Pilot addressed over 140 public meetings and rallies in the four constituencies. He focussed on youth and was monitoring, reviewing and getting feedback from party workers on a day-to-day basis in these constituencies.
“Our strategy at the micro level and the efforts and hard work by the party workers helped us to win,” said Pilot.
Gehlot also extensively toured the four constituencies.
Pilot is not for resting on his laurels.
“My work is not finished. We will be on our toes and see to it that we perform better in the coming municipal and panchayat elections,” he
While the civic polls are likely in November-December, the panchayat polls are likely in February-March next year.
Pilot, who holds an MBA from Wharton and switched to politics from a high-paying corporate job, said that the party will go all out in these polls.
Taking a dig at the BJP, Pilot said the Vasundhara Raje government was doing nothing after it came to power.
“This is the first time that people have rejected a party only in nine months since it came to power,” he contended.
(IANS report by Anil Sharma)