In an escalation of conflict in Rajasthan Congress, party leader Sachin Pilot on Tuesday attacked Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot saying that his speech in Dholpur showed that Gehlot’s leader “is not Sonia Gandhi but Vasundhara Raje Scindia”. Pilot announced ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’ from Ajmer on May 11 to raise issues of “corruption”.
Pilot’s attack on Gehlot came on a day Rahul Gandhi is in Rajasthan and days after the Chief Minister claimed at a rally in Dholpur that Vasundhara Raje was among BJP leaders who helped him save his government during the revolt by Pilot and some Congress MLAs in 2020 seeking change in leadership in the state.
Gehlot had also targeted the MLAs who had revolted against him and said who those “who took money from the BJP to return it”.
Pilot alleged at a press conference that there was “corruption” under the BJP government and there was no action on it.
“For 4.5 years, why no action was taken, I am able to understand now. I wrote letters, went on fast but there was no action. Now I can understand why. But people are bigger than any leader. We will go before people. We will keep issues before them,” Pilot said.
He said the yatra will start from the RPSC office in Ajmer and alleged there was corruption there which led to the cancellation of exams affecting students and their parents.
“I will hold a five-day-long ‘Jan Sangarsh Yatra’ from Ajmer to Jaipur starting May 11. This yatra is against corruption. Any further decision will be taken after this yatra,” Pilot said.
Pilot, a former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister, said they will raise issues like corruption and other issues concerning the youth.
“I believe the right decisions are only taken when we have people’s support.”
Rajasthan will go to the polls later this year and the latest round of conflict between Pilot and Gehlot has raised problems for Congress.
“Some people want to weaken the Congress party, we will not let them succeed. But my stand on public issues, it was and will remain the same,” Pilot said.
Taking a swipe at Gehlot, Pilot said it is first time he has seen that an attempt was made to defame the party MLAs.
He said allegations had been levelled that BJP had tried to bring down the Congress government and now there are remarks that BJP leaders saved it.
“This should be explained…I have now understood why the CM (Ashok Gehlot) has not acted against corruption,” Pilot said.
“After listening to Ashok Gehlot’s speech in Dholpur, it seems like his leader is not Sonia Gandhi but Vasundhara Raje Scindia… For the first time, I am seeing someone criticize MPs and MLAs of their own party. Praising leaders from BJP and dishonouring Congress leaders is beyond my understanding, this is absolutely wrong,” he added.
Pilot’s attack came a day ahead of voting for Karnataka polls where Congress has high stakes.
Pilot had held a day-long fast last month, even as the party leadership had cautioned him against it, over his demand for action by Gehlot government for alleged corruption during the BJP rule in the state.
Vasundhara Raje, a former Chief Minister, had countered Ashok Gehlot’s claims, saying Rajasthan Chief Minister is lying out of fear of losing the 2023 Assembly elections and his false allegations show he is rattled by the rebellion in the state Congress unit.
Gehlot had credited Vasundhara Raje and two other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for having helped him save his government during the 2020 crisis when some Congress MLAs revolted.
“Gehlot’s statement against me is a conspiracy. Nobody can insult me as much as Gehlot has done. He is lying out of fear of losing the 2023 Assembly elections and has made such false allegations as he is rattled by the rebellion in his own party,” Raje had said.
Addressing a programme in Dholpur on Sunday, Gehlot alleged that there was a conspiracy against his government.
“Former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Shobha Rani and Kailash Meghwal knew their party people were toppling the government. Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Kailash Meghwal had said that it has never been our tradition to topple the elected government on the basis of money. They did not support those who toppled the government due to which our government survived,” Gehlot had said.
Targeting rivals within the party, Gehlot said he had requested the MLAs, who revolted to return the money they had taken from the BJP so that they could perform without any pressure.
Both Pilot and Gehlot have taken potshots at each other in the past forcing the party leadership to intervene. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service.