The sacking of Sachin Pilot from the Congress has once again brought the ‘Old vs Young’ rift to the forefront. Jyotiraditya Scindia quit in March to join the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) after being sidelined by the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh.
Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid told CNN-News18’s Marya Shakil, “We were also a new generation once. I don’t see a generation gap. But there’s certainly a divide between those who are willing to leave and those who are willing to stay.”
Speaking about how he felt over the step taken by the party, Khurshid said, “For me personally, I have had an attachment to Sachin Pilot’s father. He was a very dear friend. And therefore, for the next generation to be rocked in this manner is a very sad thing for me, but then the party comes first.”
The tussle around power in Rajasthan was thought to have subsided after Ashok Gehlot took oath as chief minister, with his counterpart Pilot as his deputy. But the events of the last 48 hours speak otherwise.
When talking about the events that occurred and asked about why the party did not try to resolve the issue and instead punished a leader, Khurshid said, “Whatever happens in politics is never the last line. Something more can happen undoubtedly but, at present, whatever has happened looks very sad.”
“I can assure you, nobody in the Congress would have wanted this day to come,” he added.
Commenting on how the Congress plan to salvage the situation after the recent turn of events, Khurshid said, “I’m very amused by this question. Does the world not see me or many other leaders? We are very happy in the party and we may have issues from time to time but we are in toto with the party. And we believe that the future of the country will be safe in the hands of the Congress party.”
The Gandhi family has been disregarding the contribution of the young leaders for quite some time now. Pilot, who revived the party in Rajasthan after its shameful defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to BJP by a margin of 25-0, wasn’t given responsibilities and ignored instead.
Backing up the Gandhis, Khurshid said, “They have given more than the required time because Rajasthan is valuable to the party. A huge amount of effort was made and its disappointing that it didn’t give the desired results.”
Talking about the redressal system and the different platforms founded or joined by ex-Congress workers, Khurshid said, “In cases where people have left the Congress and found or formed another platform, they have finally come back in alliance with the Congress. But those are specific local conditions that require something more than reaching out to certain individuals. I don’t think Rajasthan is one of these cases.”
The Congress has been on a losing spree, or as it looks like. Political analysts have been pointing to a need for the party to reboot before it loses out on all its cards. It’s a decision of self-speculation.
“A lot of things are not understood outside the party. Whether the ethos of the Congress should transform, modify, evolve; these are the things that can only be talked about in the party and cannot have a timeline given buy the outside. Nobody’s perfect neither are we,” said Khurshid.
While Gehlot and, in his shadow, the Congress, still holds on to power in the state, it has lost its most valuable asset. If the Congress doesn’t carry out a self-evaluation soon, it won’t take much time for it to lose whatever is left.