Rajasthan Congress lawmaker has gone public with his call for a leadership change and the removal of Ashok Gehlot as Chief Minister, adding to the veteran's troubles after a national election rout that a section of the party blames on him.
"Sachin Pilot should be Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot has lost his influence," Congress legislator Prithviraj Meena said on Wednesday.
Prithviraj Meena, the Congress lawmaker from Toda Bhim, has unabashedly suggested that a "younger" Chief Minister will do better.
Mr Meena also points out that Sachin Pilot was state Congress president in the run-up to the elections.
The legislator, who belongs to the influential Meena tribal community of east Rajasthan, said Ashok Gehlot had not been able to keep the Jats and Gujjars together.
Two Rajasthan ministers, Ramesh Meena and Udai Lal Anjana, had recently said that accountability for the defeat in Rajasthan should be fixed.
Facing dissent and factionalism, Ashok Gehlot, had said in an interview to ABP News that Sachin Pilot should take responsibility for his son Vaibhav Gehlot's defeat in Jodhpur
"Sachin Pilot said Vaibhav should contest from Jodhpur and we would win with a huge majority. He said we have six MLAs (legislators) and we have done very good campaigning there... Sachin Pilot should take responsibility for at least that (Jodhpur) seat," said the Chief Minister, who has been accused by his rivals in the party of neglecting the rest of the constituencies while campaigning for his son.
Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot did not begin their work relationship on good terms after the Congress came to power in Rajasthan in December. Mr Pilot was persuaded to give up his claim to the chief minister's post by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. This was after Mr Gehlot convinced the leadership that he would be able to deliver good results in the Lok Sabha election.
But the Congress failed to win even one of Rajasthan's 25 seats and is left handling two feuding leaders and a badly divided state unit.