Gehlot aide claims Sachin Pilot’s phone was tapped | Arabian Weekly


The fates of one-time Congress rebels Sachin Pilot and TS Singh Deo could not have been more different. Deo, the outgoing deputy chief minister of Chhattisgarh, lost the Assembly election from Ambikapur constituency. Pilot, meanwhile, retained Tonk in Rajasthan by a wide margin and also ensured most of his loyalists won their seats too. This gives Pilot room to flex his muscles at a time when outgoing chief minister Ashok Gehlot is under siege following the boot from power in Rajasthan.

According to Lokesh Sharma, Gehlot’s Office on Special Duty, the loss of Rajasthan was easily preventable. “Based on my surveys, I had told the CM that he needed to change the sitting MLAs and also pay heed to the paper leak issue mentioned by Sachin ji. Their infighting took a toll on the party in an election we could have won,” he told News18.

He went on to make more serious allegations, including the claim that Sachin Pilot’s communication and movement were being monitored. Asked whether Pilot’s phone was tapped and his movements followed as alleged by the Congress leader’s supporters, Sharma said: “It’s common knowledge for sure that where he was going, who he was meeting, who he was speaking to was kept track of.”

Pilot is now bound to raise the issue at the Congress Legislature Party meeting. He has already said he would speak freely at the meeting. “What Lokesh Sharma has said must be taken cognizance of and deliberated on,” he said.

Lokesh Sharma, who was denied a ticket to contest the Rajasthan Assembly polls, accused Gehlot of cheating the party high command, not allowing correct feedback to reach the top. The OSD said that he had expressed the desire to contest the elections from Bikaner and then from Bhilwara, the seat where the Congress was losing for 20 years, but Gehlot “refused to experiment”.

It’ not clear what the Congress can offer Sachin Pilot now. The leader has firmly expressed he will not leave Rajasthan. Like 2019, Pilot would happy to head the Congress’s charge in the state in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. But this time, he would not accept not getting the big chair.

As for TS Singh Deo in Chhattisgarh, it’s no solace that party rival Bhupesh Baghel has been ousted from power. But the loss does bring hope that party leadership would listen to him now on what needs to be changed.

With Lok Sabha elections approaching, the Congress leadership would do well to give some attention to these rebels with a cause. Their cause may help the party spring some surprises in 2024.

With inputs from News18

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