Gehlot vs Pilot: Rajasthan Congress gears up for another round

Gehlot-Pilot saga resurfaces as Grand Old Party faces crisis once again in Rajasthan ahead of Assembly polls

NEW DELHI | Updated: 09 April, 2023 11:03 pm IST
Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot

Cracks once again appeared in Rajasthan Congress on Sunday after former Deputy Chief minister Sachin Pilot opened a fresh front against Chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

Pilot said that he will sit on a day-long protest on April 11 demanding a probe into the allegations of corruption made by the Congress against the then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state.

However, after the announcement by Pilot, who was also the former Rajasthan Congress unit chief, the party leadership in Delhi was quick to come to the defence of CM Gehlot.

The party leadership in Delhi said that the Rajasthan government led by Gehlot has implemented a large number of schemes and taken many new initiatives that have impacted the people profoundly. They also said that the party will seek a renewed mandate from the people on the strength of these landmark achievements and the collective efforts of the organisation.

The fresh tussle comes days after Pilot held several rounds of public meetings in the state ahead of the state assembly.

Pilot demanded that the Gehlot government act against the alleged corruption of the previous BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje. He said that it was necessary to assure people that the Congress government was acting on its statements and promises made before the 2018 assembly elections.

Pointing out the failures of the Gehlot government, Pilot said that the government had failed to act against the excise mafia, illegal mining, land encroachment and the Lalit Modi affidavit case.

“With six to seven months left for the elections, the opponents can spread the illusion that there is some collusion. Therefore, action will have to be taken soon so that the Congress workers feel that there is no difference between our words and actions,” he said.

Pilot also said that he had written several letters to Gehlot since last year but had not received a single reply to date.

With the fresh war of words, Pilot has revived the old war in the state just ahead of the assembly elections in the desert state with assembly elections on the horizon.

Pilot went on to say that the Rajasthan government is not even “using” its agencies to probe corruption cases at a time when the BJP-led central government is “misusing” agencies like the ED, CBI and Income Tax Department against Opposition leaders.

He also announced a day-long dharna at Shaheed Park in Jaipur on April 11, the birth anniversary of social reformer Jyotirao Phule.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Gehlot is yet to respond to Pilot’s demands.

However, Congress General Secretary and Communications incharge Jairam Ramesh said that the Congress government in Rajasthan, with Gehlot as CM, has implemented a large number of schemes and taken many new initiatives that have impacted the people profoundly.

“This has given the state a leadership position in governance in our country,” Ramesh said.

Ramesh said that the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan was an “outstanding success” made possible by the dedication and determination of the party organisation in the state.

“Later in the year, the Congress will seek a renewed mandate from the people on the strength of these landmark achievements and the collective efforts of our organisation,” he added.

The internal war in the party came to the fore once again after a gap of almost six months, as Pilot had been relatively silent though he was trying to consolidate his position in the state unit.

In September last year, the Congress’s central leadership wanted to install Pilot as Chief Minister when it wanted Gehlot to succeed Sonia Gandhi as party president.

However, Gehlot wanted his own man to be the Chief Minister if he was to move to Delhi and he ensured that he had his way when his supporters thwarted a meeting of the legislature party to authorise Sonia Gandhi to take a call.

Gehlot had also then called Pilot a “traitor” for the attempt to unseat him in 2020 with the help of the BJP.

Pilot has been eyeing the post of Chief Minister since the party returned to power in the state in 2018.

Also Read Story

INTERVIEW| I am a proud atheist; Udhaynidhi & I free to follow atheism: Kanimozhi

Pilibhit Voting: Don’t Know who’s Jitin Prasad, We Know Only Modi

INTERVIEW| 2011 jail taught me who are my friends & women in politics are dispensable: Kanimozhi

Ministry of Home Affairs announces key promotions, appointments in IPS ranks