Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s ‘gaddar’ (traitor) remark against fellow Congress leader Sachin Pilot sparked a row on Thursday. A day after, the party said it was “taken by surprise” at Gehlot’s choice of words for Pilot. His remarks came amid attempts by the Pilot camp leaders to make him the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
On Friday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said Gehlot’s remarks were “unexpected” and “surprising”. “The words used by Ashok Gehlot were unexpected and surprising to many Congress leaders. Congress is a family and the leadership will discuss a way to resolve the matter. The party needs both an experienced leader like Ashok Gehlot and an energetic youth leader like Sachin Pilot,” he told NDTV.
Earlier on Thursday, Ramesh had condemned CM Gehlot’s remark and said that the differences should be resolved in a manner that strengthens the Congress. “Ashok Gehlot is a senior and experienced political leader. Whatever differences he has expressed with his younger colleague Sachin Pilot will be resolved in a manner that strengthens the Congress,” he had said.
In an interview with NDTV on Thursday, Gehlot had gone all out to slam Sachin Pilot and attempts by his camp to unseat him the CM post. Gehlot dismissed the demand, saying a “gaddar (traitor) cannot be chief minister”. He reiterated his stand on the matter and said the Congress High Command cannot make Sachin Pilot the Chief Minister, “a man who doesn’t have 10 MLAs, who revolted against his own party”.
Sachin Pilot’s response to gehlot’s ‘gaddar’ remark
Not so long after Gehlot’s remarks, Sachin Pilot responded back saying, “This is not a time for accusation. No one should be this insecure. Under his leadership Congress has lost battle twice. Nothing is permanent in politics, and we should work together to defeat BJP.”
While Ashok Gehlot alleged that BJP was behind attempts to unseat him from CM post in 2020, Pilot responded saying, “Only Congress can challenge the BJP in the country. Elections are underway in Gujarat, where Ashok Gehlot is in-charge. We have to put up an united fight to defeat the BJP.”
Reasons Behind Ashok Gehlot Vs Sachin Pilot
Gehlot and Pilot have been at loggerheads over chief ministership ever since the Congress won the Rajasthan polls in 2018. However, the first time an evident displeasure came to the fore was in 2020, when attempts were made to unseat Ashok Gehlot from the post of Rajasthan CM. 19 Congress MLAs were taken to Manesar in 2020 to topple his government in the state.
On Thursday, Gehlot hit back at the Pilot camp, and said that a conspiracy was hatched by the BJP, so that Sachin Pilot would replace him as CM. “Under a conspiracy by the BJP, 19 MLAs of the Congress were taken to Manesar by BJP. We had to pay for hotel stays for 34 days,” he said. Earlier, a minister from the Pilot camp had alleged that attempts were being made to defame Pilot.
GEHLOT’S SEPTEMBER REBELLION
In September, around 92 legislators from the Gehlot camp attended a parallel meeting hosted by Shanti Dhariwal at his residence in Jaipur and skipped the legislature party meeting convened for passing a resolution authorising the Congress chief to appoint a successor to Gehlot, who had then announced to contest for the Congress presidential election.
The MLAs had opposed Gehlot’s arch-rival Sachin Pilot’s possible elevation to the CM post and demanded that Gehlot’s successor should be chosen from his camp. They also mentioned Pilot’s 2020 rebellion, saying the party must reward those who stood by it during that crisis.
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