Sachin Pilot’s protest: Missing Congress symbols

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Sachin Pilot, a Congress leader, protested by sitting on a day-long fast in Rajasthan without any Congress symbols or flags. This sparked speculation about his next move.

(Image source – PTI)

Sachin Pilot, a Congress leader, ended his day-long protest fast in Rajasthan demanding action against corruption cases during the BJP’s term in the state. Despite the Congress’s state unit criticizing his protest, Pilot went ahead with it, but what caught attention was the absence of any Congress symbols at the protest venue in Jaipur. Sitting in front of a banner featuring Mahatma Gandhi and with only two smaller pictures as backdrop, Sachin Pilot’s protest raised speculation about his next move.

During Sachin Pilot’s day-long fast in Rajasthan, no incumbent MLA from the ruling party was present at the venue, as expected. However, several other leaders and supporters, including former MLAs, attended.

Notably, none of Pilot’s supporters carried any Congress symbols or flags, which raised speculation about his next move and fueled questions about whether he was planning to split away from the Congress party. The symbolism, or rather the lack of it, added to the curiosity surrounding Sachin Pilot’s protest.


Sachin Pilot’s recent agitation amidst a factional feud in the Congress is perceived as a last attempt to pressure the party to resolve the leadership issue in Rajasthan ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls later this year.

The crisis within the Rajasthan Congress started in 2018 when Pilot, who was the Rajasthan Congress chief, was overlooked for the chief minister’s post in favor of Ashok Gehlot. Pilot was instead appointed as Gehlot’s deputy. In July 2020, Pilot and some Congress MLAs openly rebelled against Gehlot, demanding a change in leadership, leading to a month-long political crisis that ended with assurances from the party high command to address Pilot’s concerns.

After the brief rebellion, Sachin Pilot removed the mention of ‘Congress’ from his official Twitter handle, and Ashok Gehlot, with the support of most Congress MLAs, used derogatory terms like “traitor” and “nikamma” to refer to his former deputy. Pilot also lost his post as state Congress chief. Gehlot accused Pilot of being involved in a conspiracy with BJP leaders to topple the Congress government in Rajasthan.

The crisis seemed to have resolved until a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting was called to authorize the party high command to decide on a change in state leadership. This was necessary as Gehlot was vying for the party president’s post, and it was believed that he would have to relinquish the CM’s post in that scenario.


As Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot continued to target Sachin Pilot with derogatory remarks, referring to him as a “gaddar” (traitor), Pilot remained in a waiting mode, hoping for the Congress leadership to resolve the ongoing leadership issue in Rajasthan.

However, on Tuesday, Pilot used the anti-corruption plank to open a new front against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who aims to return as CM after upcoming elections. The Congress has not yet formally responded to Pilot’s defiance, except for a stern warning to resolve issues within the party forums instead of in the media. The future remains uncertain for Sachin Pilot and the Congress.

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Toshika Chauhan

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