'Political break...': BJP mocks Cong over Gehlot-Pilot's Rajasthan show of unity
Rajasthan will vote for a new government in 2023 - a year before prime minister Narendra Modi's BJP will bid for an unprecedented third consecutive term in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
The BJP on Wednesday mocked the show of bonhomie between feuding Rajasthan Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot as a 'political break' and predicted a swift return to the squabbling and infighting that has plagued the ruling party over the past two years.
"It was (an) assurance to the people of the state that all is well in the Congress... but I believe this is just a political break for the time being. People will hear the same words again... like 'nakara', 'nikamma' and 'gaddar'," BJP lawmaker and spokesperson Ram Lal Sharma was quoted by news agency PTI.
On Tuesday Gehlot and Pilot addressed a joint press conference in praise of party leader Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra, which enters the state Sunday.
That was days after chief minister Gehlot attacked his former deputy.
Gehlot - clearly still furious over multiple challenges to his position by Pilot and his faction, starting with the rebellion in 2020 - called his younger colleague a 'gaddar', or traitor, in an interview to NDTV.
"A gaddar cannot be chief minister... the Congress high command cannot make Sachin Pilot the chief minister..." Gehlot - who in October surrendered an opportunity to be president of the Congress - raged after a lawmaker from Pilot's camp threatened to obstruct Gandhi's yatra.
The party high command - unwilling to see its flagship outreach programme - caught up in state rows - then ordered the joint presser to show unity.
Rahul Gandhi did his bit - calling both Gehlot and Pilot 'assets' - and Gehlot complied, telling reporters: "If Rahul Gandhi has said... then we are assets... we will make the yatra a success (and) win the 2023 poll, as people support us..."
Party general secretary KC Venugopal also chipped in, insisting there is no conflict in Rajasthan - this despite Gehlot's scathing comments.
Rajasthan will vote for a new government next year - and it is crucial for a Congress fighting for political relevance before the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
With input from PTI