Skip to main content

Rahul not looking to be PM, for 3 decades no Gandhi family member occupied the post: Sachin Pilot

By Our Representative
Even as "predicting" that the Congress will lead the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to victory during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, senior Congress leader known to be close to party president Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, has given clear indications that Rahul may give up his claim for Prime Ministership for the sake of opposition unity.
"In the last 30 years, no one in the Gandhi family has occupied the position of a Prime Minister, Chief Minister or a Minister. I don’t think Rahulji is now looking to occupy the top position. He is building the party, he is taking on the challenge of the BJP, and we don’t know what the future holds”, he underlined.
“The Congress will lead an opposition alliance but who will occupy what position, time will tell,” Pilot, who is in Melbourne, said in an interview to South Asia Times (SAT) editor Neeraj Nanda. Pilot, along with another senior party leader, Milind Deora, were attending a meet -and -greet event organized by the Indian Overseas Congress, Australia.
According to the SAT report, the two Congress leaders’ visit is being seen as a continuation of the earlier visit by well-known NRI technocrat Sam Pitroda, aimed at revitalizing the Congress amongst the large Indian diaspora in Australia. Pilot said, “The current Modi-led NDA regime is incompetent to rule and we have got a whole policy framework as an alternative; in 2019 there will be a UPA plus plus government."
Commenting on the lynching incidents in India, Pilot said, “There are laws in the country including on cow slaughter. If anyone violates those laws the due process of law should take its own course. But it cannot be that on mere suspicion you attack and kill people in broad daylight. Those convicted in lynching are being garlanded by political leaders. This our country cannot afford to have."
When asked why was the Congress is not launching a nationwide agitation on the lynching issue, Pilot said, “We have taken it to the task. It is not just a Congress issue, but a human issue. As a political party, we are opposed to any sort of violence. It’s a law and order issue, the state governments are supposed to look after it."
"The Congress and its President Rahul Gandhi have taken up the issue in the Parliament. We have protested against the violent nature of our politics and the people of India are seeing this happening and will give a befitting reply to it in the 2019 elections.There were anti-social elements before also but these elements now have the courage to do these acts. The incumbent government will have to give a big price for it", he added.
The view is strong in the Congress that a united Congress-led opposition before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections does not look a distant possibility. QIf the Congress is ready to give up the claim on party president Rahul as the prime ministerial nominee, more opposition parties may join hands to pose a bigger challenge to the BJP-led NDA.
Pilot's statement acquires significance against the backdrop of the strong view among circles around Rahul that most of the opposition parties till now were reluctant to align with the Congress with Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial nominee. As and when Gandhi's candidacy for the PM's post was raked up, most of the Opposition parties kept away from joining chorus with the Congress.
While in May, campaigning for the Karnataka Assembly elections, Gandhi claimed that he would be the prime minister in 2019 if his party gets maximum seats, according to this view,that declaration met with a bleak approval not just from the non-NDA and non-UPA parties but also from the Congress itself.
Not without significance, three crucial opposition parties which would matter in 2019, such as Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP), Mayawati-headed Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Lalu Prasads Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), prevaricated on extending support to the Congress with Rahul as the PM candidate.
After all, the three parties hold significance for the Congress because it has aligned with them in the last Uttar Pradesh and Bihar Assembly elections in 2017 and 2015 respectively. Moreover, the two states together account for a whopping 120 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats (22 per cent).
Meanwhile, among those leaders who are said to be keen on being projected as PM candidate include Lalu Prasad Yadav's son Tejashwi Yadav, BSP's Mayawati, and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.
The issue of Gandhi as PM again became the talking point in political circles when the Congress' highest decision-making body, Congress Working Committee (CWC), met on July 22 and ratified the decision.
While several Congress leaders approved it, barring Congress alliance partner in Karnataka, the Janata Dal (Secular), no other party came forward to support it. These included West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandra Babu Naidu, NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
This led the Congress to suggest on July 24 that Congress that it would support any candidate who would not be backed by the Sangh parivar or the ruling BJP.

Comments

TRENDING

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Palm oil industry deceptively using geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.