Rajasthan Rivalry: ‘Gaddar’ Sachin Pilot Can’t Be CM, Says Ashok Gehlot
Jaipur: The infighting in Rajasthan Congress came to the fore for the umpteenth time on Thursday when chief minister Ashok Gehlot dubbed his bete noire Sachin Pilot as a ‘gaddar’ (traitor).
There has not been any love lost between the two in the last few years, as they have traded charges against each other.
But Gehlot took their rivalry to another level during an interview with NDTV.
“A gaddar cannot be chief minister… the Congress high command cannot make Sachin Pilot the chief minister… a man who doesn’t have 10 MLAs. He revolted, he betrayed the party, he is a traitor,” Gehlot said.
The Gehlot-Pilot rivalry triggered several political crises in the four years of Congress government in Rajasthan. Pilot had openly revolted against Gehlot in 2020, following which he was sacked as deputy CM and state party chief.
The veteran leader attacked his younger ‘rival’ for not apologising to the party’s high command for his revolt two-and-a-half years ago.
Gehlot also said the Congress can replace him with any of its 102 MLAs in Rajasthan except Pilot, if the high command feels the party’s prospects will improve that way in next year’s Assembly election.
Asked about the rebellion by Gehlot loyalists two months ago, the CM said: “They (Congress MLAs) were angry because the news was spread that Sachin Pilot will be made chief minister. He himself also behaved that way. People thought he was going to be chief minister… Pilot called many MLAs and told them an observer will come to take their views. So the MLAs felt there may be a one-line resolution that day, and next day will be the swearing-in (of Pilot). Because of this rumour, all of them gathered there.”
Gehlot also claimed that Pilot held meeting in Delhi with senior Union ministers Amit Shah and Dharmendra Pradhan.
“Some got Rs 5 crore, some Rs 10 crore… The money was picked up from BJP office in Delhi,” Gehlot alleged.