Jaipur, Sep 7 : Sachin Pilot’s well-wishers across Rajasthan donated 40,000 units of blood on Monday, marking his 43rd birthday and signalling that the Congress leader who led a month-long rebellion against the chief minister still enjoyed their support.
Mahesh Sharma, who lost his post as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC)general secretary when the Rajasthan unit was revamped after Pilot rebelled against CM Ashok Gehlot, gave out the numbers.
He said it was a record for a single day’s blood donation in the state.
The blood donation camps were held at about 400 locations by the former deputy chief minister’s supporters, sending out a message that he still had a considerable following.
Pilot had appealed to his supporters not to come to Jaipur to wish him amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasra and BJP state president Satish Poonia were among those who wished the MLA from Tonk on his birthday.
Mahesh Sharma said the supporters and volunteers had set themselves a target of 43,000 blood units.
“We have received information on the collection of more than 40,000 units so far and it is likely to cross the target of 43,000 units,” he said, claiming that this was a record.
In Jhalawar, nearly 5,500 units of blood were collected. The collection in Jaipur crossed 4,000 units.
Pilot interacted with his supporters on social media.
“I thank party workers and supporters for organising the blood donation camps and for wishing me on my birthday. I am happy that all participated with enthusiasm for the noble cause, which will help people,” he said.
He called it social work during the coronavirus pandemic. “There cannot be a better gift than this,” he said.
Pilot said women also participated in good numbers in the blood donation camps.
He said the blood donated during the one-day drive will help those in hospital during this “most difficult time”.
“The number of blood donors has come down due to the threat of coronavirus and this initiative will certainly help those in need,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister and other leaders tweeted to congratulate Pilot.
“Wishing you a very happy birthday @SachinPilot ji. May you be blessed with happiness, good health and long life,” Gehlot tweeted.
The rift between the two leaders came out in the open in July after Pilot and 18 other Congress leaders rebelled against Gehlot’s leadership, keeping away from the Congress Legislature Party meetings.
The two patched up after the after the intervention of the party high command.
Just days into the rebellion, Pilot was sacked from the post of deputy CM and PCC president.