Will Sachin Pilot form regional Party and eliminate Congress in Rajasthan?
Sachin Pilot finally makes his move against Ashok Gehlot. After Ashok Gehlot’s press conference yesterday, more information is coming in on the developing crisis in Rajasthan
Republic is reporting that Sachin Pilot has arrived in Delhi with 25 MLAs
Will Sachin Pilot form his own regional Party or join BJP?
The big question was whether Sachin Pilot himself will defect to the BJP. While at the moment nothing can be ruled out, there are distinct differences between Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia
- Many assume joining BJP implies a great career for them just like Himanta Sarma in Assam. However, it is almost impossible for a defector to the BJP to become CM. BJP is a far more ideological party and one needs long standing relationships within the party to get the right opportunities. These relationships are no favours but proof that you are a performer and ideologically committed to the party. Unlike Pilot, Scindia had a network of family members (Vasundhara, Yashodhara) who already in the BJP and so it would be relatively easy for him to navigate once inside the BJP. While Pilot may be friends with many BJP leaders, one cannot say he has the same comfort level as Scindia inside the BJP.
- Scindia gave up after he calculated that he won’t be CM in MP. After his loss in Guna he realised that while his name recognition was high, his ability to win elections was questionable. Second, given Kamalnath’s money power, replacing Kamalnath was almost impossible and in any case he was quite content with a career in Central Government (just like his father). Sachin Pilot on the other hand strongly feels like he can be CM of Rajasthan and it was just a matter of time whether in this term or when Congress came to power in Rajasthan next. He was quite popular in Rajasthan and if enough effort was put, he could win the state on his own. This means that the cost of acquiring Sachin Pilot will be much higher than Scindia. It won’t be a Rajya Sabha seat.
- On the other hand, Scindia has much better national brand recognition than Sachin Pilot. In that sense, Scindia has much better career opportunities at national level than Sachin Pilot. So Sachin will need to be given a very good offer to defect to the BJP
Looking at all of this data, it is unclear Sachin Pilot will defect in the same way as Scindia. One possibility is, he will form a regional party like Jagan Reddy and Mamata Banerjee then try to get rid of the Congress or even form an alliance with the Congress just like Sharad Pawar. If Congress MLAs sense formation of a regional party, more will defect to Sachin Pilot. Of course if BJP offers him the CM post, he will quite easily defect to the BJP as well. The end game for Ashok Gehlot is coming faster than expected.
As we mentioned in our analysis yesterday, there are 5 reasons why we believe that Ashok Gehlot is quite vulnerable
5 reasons why Gehlot Government could fall in Rajasthan before the end of next year
1. Congress MLAs across the country have proven to be particularly vulnerable to the efforts by the BJP. The BJP is able to offer a wider choice of rewards to MLAs defecting from other parties. Karnataka and MP are good examples. Congress MLAs defecting have benefitted in many ways. Watch our Video on the recent history of Congress MLAs defecting to the BJP
2. Because of lack of ideological purity, Congress MLAs are less resistant to good offers by stronger parties across the country – Whether it is BJP, TRS, YSRCP, BJD, TMC or others. Other parties whether it is due to ideology (like BJP/ Left) or Caste Politics (Like RJD, SP etc) witness less defections
3. While the Rajasthan Government has not performed poorly, numerous promises are yet to be fulfilled – Job creation has been slow on account of nationwide economic slowdown (14% unemployment at the moment, higher than rest of country, Loan waivers have not been huge and quite slow etc). Defecting away from the Congress giving these exact reasons may turn out quite favourable for the defecting MLAs
4. In Rajasthan, there has always been some level of divisions within the party. MLAs are constantly looking for opportunities to develop their careers
5. Both Modi and Shah are aggressive players and just like Karnataka and MP, once they make up their mind, they keep persisting until it is done.
It is end game in Rajasthan. Let us see how it plays out.