Sachin Pilot steps up attack on Ashok Gehlot, announces five-day yatra

May 10, 2023 04:31 AM IST

Referring to a recent speech by the chief minister, Pilot also questioned Gehlot’s loyalty towards the Congress leadership.

Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Tuesday sharpened his attack on party colleague and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot for alleged inaction over corruption, and announced a five-day “Jan Sangharsh Yatra” to raise people’s issues.

Sachil Pilot has announced a ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’. (File photo)
Sachil Pilot has announced a ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’. (File photo)

Referring to a recent speech by the chief minister, Pilot also questioned Gehlot’s loyalty towards the Congress leadership.

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Also read: ‘Seems like his leader is Raje, not Sonia Gandhi’: Pilot attacks Ashok Gehlot

“After listening to the CM’s speech in Dholpur, I feel his leader is not Sonia Gandhi, his leader is Vasundhara Raje,” Pilot said, while speaking to reporters at his residence in Jaipur.

Addressing a programme in Dholpur on May 7, Gehlot said that former chief minister Vasundhara Raje along with two other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders — former assembly speaker Kailash Meghwal and legislator Shobharani Kushwah — helped save his government during the 2020 rebellion against him by a section of Congress legislators led by Pilot.

Rejecting Gehlot’s claim as a “conspiracy”, Raje alleged that the chief minister was “lying out of fear of losing the 2023 assembly elections”.

During his speech, Gehlot said he had requested those Congress legislators who “took money” during the 2020 political crisis to “return it to Union home minister Amit Shah”. The chief minister alleged that Union ministers Amit Shah, Gajendra Shekhawat and Dharmendra Pradhan conspired to topple his government by distributing money to Congress MLAs in Rajasthan. He further alleged that if the MLAs did not return the money, they will always be under pressure from Shah.

Pilot rubbished the claims of legislators taking money from Shah. He added that if there were evidence, action should have already been taken by the chief minister.

Taking a jibe at Gehlot without naming him, Pilot said people whose entire political life has flourished only on the power of money, perhaps see money in everything.

“On one hand you say the BJP was trying to topple the Congress government, on the other hand you say the BJP saved the Congress government. Please clarify what you are saying,” he said.

Pilot, who represents Tonk assembly constituency, said Gehlot was insulting his own MLAs and harming his party ahead of the assembly polls scheduled for later this year.

In July 2020, then deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs revolted against Gehlot’s leadership. The crisis that lasted for nearly a month ended after the party high command intervened and removed Pilot as the deputy CM and state Congress chief.

Pilot said he has been raising the issue of corruption, paper leaks since the last 18 months, but nothing has been done.

“These are allegations of corruption that I made and Gehlot made on public platforms and in press conferences but no probe was carried out. Now I understand why no probe was instituted… despite my continually writing letter and sitting on a daylong fast on April 11… now I lost hope… facts are coming to light as to why no action will be taken,” he added.

He said he will raise issues related to the state’s youth during his 125-km foot march from Ajmer to Jaipur, starting on Thursday. “I believe the right decisions are only taken when one has the people’s support... Any further decision will be taken after this yatra,” he said, adding that the march will be completed in five days.

Pilot further said that some Congress leaders, including him, wanted a leadership change in Rajasthan and they put forward their views to the leaders in Delhi who accepted their views but nothing more was done.

Referring to the September 25, 2022 meeting of Congress MLAs that was scuttled by “some leaders”, Pilot said Sonia Gandhi had sent Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge to Jaipur after taking into account the ground situation.

Also read: ‘Why delay in taking action’?: Sachin Pilot on exam paper leak incidents in Rajasthan

“The MLAs’ meeting never took place. That was an insult to Sonia Gandhi, that was betrayal. So many MLAs were made to resign against their will… the government was put in jeopardy,” said Pilot. “These incidents show who broke party discipline and who is strengthening or weakening the party organisation and government.”

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