New Delhi (PTI): Amid speculation over Congress leader Sachin Pilot's next move, sources close to him on Tuesday said he was firm on his demands, including action against alleged corruption during the previous Vasundhara Raje government, and was waiting for a definitive response from the party high command.
While some reports have claimed that Pilot may announce floating a new party, sources close to him maintained that he is focussed only on the fulfilment of his demands that the Ashok Gehlot government takes action against alleged corruption during the previous BJP regime and acts on issues of the youth such as those related to government recruitment examination paper leaks.
The sources said that the meeting Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Pilot had with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi last week did not result in any resolution of "core issues" between the two Rajasthan bigwigs.
Gehlot and his former deputy have been engaged in a power tussle since the Congress formed government in the state in 2018 and the party is seeking to broker peace between the two ahead of the assembly elections in the state, slated for later this year.
There is intense speculation that Pilot may give a clear indication on his way forward on June 11 when he marks his father's death anniversary in Dausa.
"He (Pilot) is waiting for a response from the party leadership, the ball is in their court," a source close to him said.
Leaders close to Pilot said he has taken a "principled position" and it is not about posts. The issues of corruption and paper leaks are his top priority, they added.
Besides graft, Pilot's two other demands were reconstituting the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) and making fresh appointments in it, and compensation for those affected by the cancellation of government recruitment exams following paper leaks.
The preparations for the programme marking Rajesh Pilot's death anniversary, which is held annually, are going on in full swing in Dausa and are being supervised by Minister of State for Agriculture Marketing Murari Lal Meena, who is known to be close to Pilot.
With all eyes on that programme, Meena told reporters, "I have no idea from where the speculation of the new party started. I do not see any substance in such speculations. I work following the ideology of the party."
The Congress last Thursday had said the party is supreme and will fight the Rajasthan Assembly polls unitedly to emerge victorious, an assertion that came after Pilot refused to budge from his demands.
In a bid to defuse the tensions, Kharge and Gandhi had held marathon discussions with Gehlot and Pilot separately last week, sources had said. They had later posed for photographs at Kharge's 10 Rajaji Marg residence here.
After the meetings, the party had said Gehlot and Pilot have agreed to fight the upcoming assembly elections unitedly and have left all issues to be resolved by the party high command. Addressing reporters after the meeting earlier this week, Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal had said, "Both the leaders, Ashok ji and Sachin ji, agreed to the proposal on these things."
Asked what proposal he was talking out, Venugopal had said, "Both have left it to the (party) high command."
Gehlot and Pilot have been engaged in a power tussle since the Congress formed government in the state in 2018. In 2020, Pilot led a revolt against the Gehlot government after which he was removed from the posts of the party's state unit president and deputy chief minister.
Last year, an attempt by the high command to effect a leadership change in Rajasthan had failed after Gehlot loyalists dug their heels in and did not allow a legislature party meeting to take place.
Pilot had last month defied a warning from the party and went ahead with a day-long fast targeting Gehlot over his "inaction" on alleged corruption during the previous Raje government.
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Bengaluru (PTI): Although Trevor Noah cancelled his show in Bengaluru reportedly due to sound system glitches, Bengalureans grabbed the moment to add another hashtag to their #peakbengaluru angst stories. From funny memes about the pot-holed roads to while-we-wait-for-cars-to-inch-forward anecdotes, Bengalurians's interesting takes on social media, tagging #Noah, have gone viral.
Incidentally, the unprecedented traffic jam on September 27 on the Outer Ring Road stretch, the lifeline for the tech community living there, resulted in a ripple effect all over the city, causing even the stand-up comedian and former talk show host to be late for his own show.
With only an hour to go, many who were heading for Noah's show and were stuck in the traffic were seen trying to sell tickets that cost them Rs 6,500 for Rs 5,000.
The show, however, was cancelled because of some technical glitches in the sound system.
But having an international stand-up comedian in the city was too good an opportunity to let pass for Bengalureans, who never hesitate to roast' the IT hub known for its traffic bottlenecks and civic infrastructure issues.
So, while Bengaluru waited endlessly for the jam to clear up, social media kept buzzing with pictures and updates late into the night, providing an insight into the chaos.
Not surprisingly, even BookMyShow, the organiser of the Noah show, which has come under a lot of flak, and Noah himself, took to
social media platform X to put out an apology.
"Bengaluru, we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused at Trevor Noah's Off The Record show at Manpho Convention Centre on September 27. The Bengaluru leg of the India Tour for both September 27 & 28 stands cancelled. All Customers who purchased tickets for both shows will get a complete refund within 8-10 working days," BookMyShow sent out a message on X, at 1.55am on September 28.
Many, like Anurag Mathur, a senior employee of Amazon, kept themselves busy throughout by live tweeting. Mathur's posts were punctuated with dark humour, as he crawled through the traffic for almost five hours to reach his destination. Here's one for sample:
"With a sudden gusto of energy, our cab driver changed to 2nd gear for the first time in 3 hours and sped past another car reaching an ungodly speed of 10/km hour on ORR today. Map still reads 1.5 hours to home."
For what it's worth, tech city's star infrastructure' food and beverage stood by its "service at all cost" promise. When a techie working for Flipkart, also an X user, @Rishivaths, called Dominos, they actually delivered a pizza to his stuck-in-traffic car.
He promptly made a video of the delivery boys on a two-wheeler, snaking their way through the waiting cars, and posted it on X. "They were kind enough to track our live location (a few metres away from our random location added in the traffic) and deliver to us in the traffic jam," he had tweeted.
Of course, this triggered another avalanche of memes and sarcastic comments from other users. Like X user Vibin Babuurajan, who said, "Next time I'm booking a massage from Urban Company."
Another X user, Ritwik Z, listed out places to go from Bengaluru, when one has 4.5-5 hours to spare. "Mysore-Bengaluru-Mysore, Coorg-Bengaluru, Chikkamagaluru-Bengaluru," read his post.
Politics came into play too. P C Mohan, BJP LS MP of Bengaluru Central, put in his two pennies worth by blaming the present government. His X post, "The Baiyappanahalli-KR Pura metro link could have eased this, but the state government's inaction, despite CMRS approval, prolongs the suffering," triggered a political debate on who did what.
Although according to @Bnglrweatherman, who tracks Karnataka weather on X, the jam did not ease out even at midnight.
In the morning, Bengaluru appears to have gone back to its "normal" mode. Now, people could get to their destination, literally at a stone's throw away, in less than one hour.
Software developer Ruthvik Ghagarwale, posted on his X account at about 10.42am -- " I can practically see my house from my car, but it still took me a whopping 51 mins!".