The infighting in Rajasthan Congress, that became public when Deputy Chief Minsiter Sachin Pilot questioned the decision of his own government on elections to the posts of heads of urban local bodies, has reached party president Sonia Gandhi, who sought a report on the controversy. According to sources, Sonia Gandhi has asked the AICC in-charge of the state Avinash Pande to submit a report on the row over the decision of his Rajasthan government.
According to news agency PTI, citing sources, Pande, who in-charge of the election control room in Maharashtra, has rushed back to Delhi on Wednesday morning. He will submit a report to the Congress chief soon, the sources added.
Rajasthan’s Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Friday questioned his own government’s decision on elections to the posts of heads of urban local bodies. Taking a stand that appeared to go against the view of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Pilot made it clear he was not consulted on the decision that was notified on Wednesday. Two other ministers in the Congress-run state have separately opposed the move that allows people who are not elected councillors to contest for posts like mayors and chairpersons of corporations and municipalities.
The non-councillor candidates still have to be elected by councillors to the top posts. “This is not a good decision and I do not agree with this. The decision is not practical and not politically right and there is a need to make changes to the decision,” Pilot told reporters in Jhunjhunu.
“We decided to hold indirect election for the posts of mayor and chairperson. This was fine. But suddenly a new decision appeared that I came to know from newspapers. This was not discussed in the cabinet or the legislative party meeting,” he said.
Pilot, who is the Rajasthan Congress president, claimed that the new system, which is being called a hybrid, will allow people to become urban body heads through the back door. He said democracy is not strengthened if a candidate who could not win a councillors’ election is allowed to contest for the mayor’s post.
(With PTI inputs)