Sachin Pilot today said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s leader seemed to be not Sonia Gandhi, but the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje.
Pilot took a dig at his bitter rival just a day before the crucial Karnataka assembly elections
In an all-out attack on Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot said he would not quit the party as he didn’t want to ruin its chances ahead of the Rajasthan election later this year.
Instead, he announced a ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra‘ from Ajmer to Jaipur to highlight corruption.
Pilot’s comments follow Ashok Gehlot’s stunning remarks last weekend that former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje helped save his government, when Sachin Pilot revolted in 2020 along with a few MLAs.
The Gehlot-Pilot feud took over Congress’s 2018 victory in Rajasthan, over the Chief Minister’s post.
Pilot launched a solo campaign for the Rajasthan polls soon after Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in the state.
Pilot revolted in 2020, before being assured of a solution by the Congress top brass. 100-plus MLAs chose to stay with Gehlot at the time, quelling the rebellion.
Then in 2022, some 100 MLAs resigned in protest against the Congress’s move to make Gehlot party president. Pilot was largely seen as the replacement.
At the rally on Sunday, the Chief Minister had claimed that Vasundhara Raje and two other BJP leaders helped save his government and that money was given to MLAs to switch to the BJP and topple his government.
Gehlot also took a swipe at the rebel MLAs, saying they ‘should return the money.’
Pilot has accused Gehlot of ‘insulting his own MLAs’ and ‘harming his own party’ ahead of the polls. He also defended his 2020 revolt saying MLAs wanted a leadership change in Rajasthan.
‘After hearing the Chief Minister’s speech in Dholpur, I think his leader is not Sonia Gandhi, but his leader is Vasundhara Raje,’ Pilot told reporters.
‘He (Gehlot) alleges that BJP tried to topple his government. Then he says a BJP leader helped save his government. He should explain the contradiction.’
‘I now understand why no action was taken against corruption by the Vasundhara Raje government despite my repeated requests,’ he added.
Pilot said he had tolerated much name-calling and attacks from Mr Gehlot over the past two-and-a-half years. ‘He called me gaddar (traitor), nikamma (useless), corona…Many insinuations and abuses were directed at me. I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to damage the party,’ he said.
Pilot also claimed his yatra was not aimed at Gehlot.
‘The yatra is not against anyone but is against corruption,’ he asserted.
Many believe Pilot is pushing the Congress to act and planning a well-timed exit before the polls.
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