Sachin Pilot helped drive Congress to victory in Rajasthan

Updated: Dec 12, 2018, 19:58 IST | Agencies | Jaipur/New Delhi

And now it seems the 'saafa' might well be back on his head

Congress workers and supporters dance as the party wins the Rajasthan Assembly elections on Tuesday, at the party office in Jaipur. Pic/PTI
Congress workers and supporters dance as the party wins the Rajasthan Assembly elections on Tuesday, at the party office in Jaipur. Pic/PTI

He flies planes, loves to drive and has helped steer the Congress from the depths of defeat in 2013 to the highs of victory in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot may not become chief minister if the party chooses to appoint the older, more experienced Ashok Gehlot, but the urbane politician, equally at home in a village as in the debating room of an English news channel, has more than earned his electoral stripes, say party leaders.

The 41-year-old Stephanian, as those from Delhi's elite St Stephen's College are sometimes called, and Wharton MBA graduate had made a vow in 2014 when the party lost in the Lok Sabha elections to not wear a turban he so loved till the Congress returns to power.

And now it seems the 'saafa' might well be back on his head. With trends showing a 101-72 margin on Tuesday, the win against the BJP is not as emphatic as the Congress would have wished, but to Pilot goes the credit of ensuring that his party came back to power in Rajasthan by defeating the BJP's Vasundhara Raje - in keeping with the 'revolving door' tradition of voters alternately choosing the BJP and the Congress.

In 2013, when the Congress faced its worst defeat, winning just 21 seats against the BJP's 163, party president Rahul Gandhi handed the reins of the state to the next gen leader, a two-time parliamentarian and son of former leader Rajesh Pilot, who died in 2000 in a road accident in Dausa.

Pilot, who served as minister in the UPA government in different capacities, accepted the challenge and refocused his attention from national politics to state level challenges.

'Proud of work done by my government'
As the Congress emerged victorious in Rajasthan, outgoing CM Vasundhara Raje said she is proud of the development work done by her government and respects the mandate of the people. Raje, who submitted her resignation to Governor Kalyan Singh at Raj Bhawan here, said, "I am proud of the development works done by the BJP in five years and believe that the upcoming government will continue the works."

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