How was Sachin Pilot won over and persuaded to become Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan? Apparently, it was a multi-pronged campaign. His friend and Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s lieutenant Jitendra Bhanwar Singh of Alwar who is also Pilot’s close friend, was pressed into action to persuade him. Pilot had a meeting with Rahul Gandhi at which Priyanka and Sonia were also present. Here he described all that he had done since 2013 — when he was in charge, but also when he was not in charge — of the party in Rajasthan. He described how Ashok Gehlot set up rebels and actually fanned their feelings. As he was recalling all this , his voice cracked. The party high command has noted all this and it seems Pilot will be rewarded in the future.
The haemorrhage in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) continues after the party went out of power following a split from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In fact, a full fledged split cannot be ruled out. President Mehbooba Mufti’s Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, who was also one of the architects of the alliance with BJP, has resigned. Earlier, PDP’s Baramulla MP, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh had said that he would join Sajjad Gani Lone’s Third Front. Mehbooba had to go to his residence to iron out the differences, but the fear remains that he will also leave. Lone’s Third Front is, at the moment a non-starter but in the valley you never know. Drabu has denied he will join Lone. But the options are few. While it is true that the BJP cannot hope to have any influence in the valley directly, it is not going to let go of the space it has managed to carve out in the region.