Pilot, Scindia set to square off on the campaign trail in MP by-polls

Team Absolute|Bhopal Not that long ago, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot were comrades-in-arms as young leaders of the Congress party. But in the upcoming by-elections to 28 Madhya Pradesh assembly seats, they are set to square off on the campaign trail. Although the by-polls have not been announced yet, the Congress has sounded out Pilot that he will have to campaign in the Gwalior-Chambal belt, the area of Scindia’s influence, where 16 of the 28 seats up for grabs are situated. Congress sources informed Absolute India that there are at least six to seven seats with a substantial Gurjar population where Pilot, who hails from the community, could swing votes. They said Pilot has already given his consent to campaign in the by-polls as and when they are announced. “Pilot is among the star campaigners of the party and has areas of influence. He has campaigned in the past, like his father Rajesh Pilot,” said MP Congress spokesman Bhupendra Gupta. Another Congress leader who wished to remain anonymous claimed that former CM Kamal Nath played a role in staving off the political crisis in Rajasthan, and saving Pilot from getting the axe. The leader suggested that given Nath’s seniority, Pilot will have no option but to campaign irrespective of whether he is willing. Pilot said, “I will go wherever the party asks me to go. In the last 20 years, I have gone to even Puducherry and Tripura. I have campaigned in parts of MP in the last few elections. Campaigning is party work and you have to do it.” Asked if he would be comfortable campaigning against his friend, Pilot said “friendship is personal.” Adding “Is he contesting?” Pilot asked. “His men are BJP candidates and the Congress has to defeat them.”

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