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Getting Congress re-elected my priority, will discharge any responsibility party assigns: Sachin Pilot

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Jaipur, Nov 26, 2021- The much-awaited cabinet expansion in Rajasthan has finally happened and former Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress chief Sachin Pilot is content, as his loyalists have been inducted. Two ministers Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena, who were removed after last year’s rebellion, have also made a comeback.

Pilot now says that his priority to ensure that his party retains power in the state in the next polls, but he is also ready to take on whatever responsibility the Congress leadership assigns.

In an exclusive interview with IANS, the popular Congress leader spoke on a range of issues. Following are excerpts:

Q: Finally, your demand to reward Congress workers has been accepted and they have been inducted into the government. Now, what shall be your role in the party/state?

A: Since the start of my career 20 years ago, I have worked for the Congress, as an MP, MLA and state chief. I am ready to do whatever the party says, however, my priority will be to deliver in Rajasthan as it is my home state. This state is my ‘karmabhoomi’ and my priority is to ensure that Congress wins here. But am also ready to take up any other responsibility the party delegates.

I have been campaigning and working for the party in various parts of the country be it in Kerala, Karnataka, UP, MP etc. I will do my job as a dedicated worker wherever the party asks.

Q: Will the next Assembly election be contested under your leadership?

A: The 2018 Assembly polls were contested under a collective leadership. A decision was taken that there will be no CM face announced and I think next time too, we shall contest elections under a collective leadership where as per the trend, our Congress central leadership will lead from the front.

Q: Have all the issues you raised been resolved?

A: Elections are approaching in 2023 and hence we have to gear up within the government as well as in the organisation for the challenge. So I had raised some issues which obviously have seen a little delay as Mr Ahmed Patel passed away, followed by Covid pandemic besides some other issues. Finally, now we are heading in the right direction.

For last two years, there was no Dalit minister in the Rajasthan cabinet. I wanted the communities which have been voting for us to be given due recognition in the government. Am happy that the AICC and the state government have made adequate and balanced representation of tribals, Dalits, minorities and women etc in the state government.

I believe more changes will be made in the organisation too to ensure that we are battle ready for 2023. We have to win state elections and break the cycle of alternate governments coming to power every five years, for which we need people’s blessings and cooperation. Once we win 2023, we will have better chances to win 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

In the last two Lok Sabha elections, we did not win a single seat. This time, we should do remarkably better.

Q: Do you think this delay of over a year in cabinet expansion can have any impact in the coming elections?

A: I strongly believe in the saying, ‘Better late than never.’ What had to be done has been done now. Nationally, Congress is the only party which can take on the BJP due to its pan-India presence as it connects from North to South. Now expansion and balancing has been done and with a lot of interest from our top leaders like Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi ji.

We want the energy of our workers to be enhanced so that they are ready for 2023 polls. Once we win the 2023 polls, we will contest 2024 parliamentary elections with the same vigour. I wish to break 30 years of cycle and now when there is balanced representation from leaders of different segments, we seem set for the challenge.  (Agency)

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