JAIPUR: After strong objection by deputy CM Sachin Pilot, dispute of the Hybrid formula being implemented in local body elections in Rajasthan has now reached the Interim President of Congress, Sonia Gandhi. It is felt that the decision of making the mayor without contesting elections may have to be withdrawn by the state government.
Sources say, Sonia Gandhi has asked the organization General secretary, K. C. Venugopal to look into the matter. Venugopal has sought full report of the case from the party's Rajasthan in-charge, Avinash Pandey.
Pandey has asked UDH Minister Shanti Dhariwal to resolve the dispute with immediate effect by meeting CM Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot. He has also asked that the objectionable provisions made for the mayor election should also be removed so that the image of Congress is not spoilt in the country.
The state government had earlier issued a notification regarding the municipal elections to be held in November, which stated that any person can be made the mayor without contesting elections.
This notification was issued without discussion in the cabinet, which was opposed by cabinet Ministers, Ramesh Meena and Pratap Singh Khachariawas. The very next day, Deputy CM Sachin Pilot not only objected to the issuance of such notification but even said that such a decision would increase horse-trading.
"The decision that a mayor can be selected without winning the election, is against the original spirit of the 73rd and 74th amendment of the constitutional and also against the thought of Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi had said that public participation in local elections should increase. But this decision will increase cross-voting and horse-trading to become the mayor in the state," said Pilot at Bayana Railway station on Tuesday.
The issue has divided the Government into two camps with Party President and Deputy CM, Sachin Pilot and two of the ministers close to him on one side and CM Ashok Gehlot's camp led by UDH minister Shanti Dhariwal, strongly defending the decision on the other side.
State in-charge, Avinash Pandey said, "I have asked the UDH minister to settle this dispute. For this, he met the CM and the Deputy CM. The High Command has instructed me to tell him that if there is any objectionable provision, it should be removed."
After that, on Tuesday, Congress in-charge Avinash Pandey met K.C. Venugopal for a consultation. There was a discussion between the two on the controversy for about an hour. It is now believed that Avinash Pandey can meet Sonia Gandhi with the report very soon. Earlier on Monday, Cabinet Minister, Ramesh Meena met Organization General Secretary Venugopal and gave him feedback on this issue.