Amid fresh trouble in the Rajasthan Congress in the wake of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s recent statement that his predecessor Vasundhara Raje helped him save his government in 2020, state minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas on Wednesday said the “problem” erupted with the CM’s remark and no other leader had anything to do with it.
Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, Khachariyawas said, “The whole problem started with the chief minister’s statement. No other leader in the Congress had anything to do with it. The issues raised by Sachin Pilot are important and need to be addressed by the CM and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC)”.
Responding to Gehlot’s statement on Tuesday, Pilot took a dig at him, saying that it seems that Vasundhara Raje, and not Sonia Gandhi, is “his leader”.
He added that the Congress risks sending out the wrong message to the people in the run-up to the next Assembly elections in Rajasthan if it did not act on its promise of having corruption allegations against Raje probed.
Kachariyawas skirted any further comments, saying, “If I say something, it will be held against me and I’ll be accused of breaking party discipline. So, it’s better that I don’t make any further comments in the matter.”
Pilot was removed as deputy CM and Rajasthan Congress chief in 2020 on charges that he connived with the BJP to engineer a silent coup on the Gehlot government.
On the political crisis in the state that erupted after Pilot’s alleged rebellion in 2020, Khachariawas said, “The Congress went to polls under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and the votes that we received were largely down to them. Also, our MLAs had gathered at a hotel at the time out of their loyalty to our leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. I won’t say anything more.”
Sachin Pilot announced on Tuesday that he will take out a ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’ against the “inaction of the Rajasthan government” with regard to the alleged corruption during the previous Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in the state.
The five-day Jan Sangharsh Yatra will start on May 11 from Ajmer and will culminate at Jaipur.
“Now, I can understand why the (Gehlot) government took no action in the matter (alleged graft under Raje) for four and a half years. I wrote letters (to Gehlot and the Congress high command) and even went on a (day-long) fast but there was no action. Now I can understand why. But people are bigger than any leader. We will go to the people. We will place all the issues before them,” Pilot said, hitting out at the Gehlot government.
Pilot held a day-long fast last month, despite the party high command cautioning him against it, seeking to step up pressure on the Gehlot government to order a probe into alleged graft into the previous Congress rule in the state.
Gehlot and Pilot have been at odds, with both taking potshots at each other before the high command brokered a tenuous truce.
With Rajasthan set to go to polls later this year, the latest flashpoint between Gehlot and Pilot could be a cause for concern for the Congress.
This report is filed by ANI news service.