Don't punish Vasundhara Raje because of me: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot to BJP : The Tribune India

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Don't punish Vasundhara Raje because of me: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot to BJP

'I want to give up chief ministership but it doesn’t leave me', says Gehlot

Don't punish Vasundhara Raje because of me: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot to BJP

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. PTI file

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, October 19

In an interesting turn of events on Thursday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot sent out a message to the BJP leader to “not punish Vasundhara Raje because of him.”

“She should not be punished because of me. This would be injustice to her,” Gehlot said addressing the press in the National Capital today, adding that winnability would determine the candidatures in Rajasthan and adding that the tickets of MLAs close to Sachin Pilot had mostly been cleared as the party had decided to forget and forgive the infamous rebellion which Pilot had mounted against the Gehlot government.

Speaking in context of the crisis that his own government faced in Rajasthan due to the rebellion led by Pilot in 2020, Gehlot mentioned the Vasundhara episode.

The BJP veteran and former CM Vasundhara Raje fell in the eye of storm recently when Gehlot said at a Dholpur rally that she had helped save his government.

“I remember an incident where then CM Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was abroad for a bypass and his Speaker in Rajasthan spoken of toppling the government which I opposed as state Congress chief. I even told then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao that this would not be correct. Recently, when my government was in crisis, an MLA close to Vasundhara Raje met me and said Vasundhara also holds the same opinion that duly elected governments shouldn’t be toppled, and this is all I said in Dholpur,” Gehlot said defending Raje who has been increasingly sidelined in the BJP amid signals of his closeness to Gehlot.

Gehlot also signalled that he was going to be around for a long time saying, “I want to leave CM ship but CM ship doesn’t leave me. And it will not leave me.”

Gehlot also struck cordial notes with Pilot saying “we are all together”.

He also sent a caution to Pilot on the latter’s CM ambitions and said, “In the Congress it is best not to be a CM candidate because the one who is the candidate never becomes CM. We will accept what the high command decides and I have been trusted by the Gandhis. There must be some reason for that,” the Rajasthan CM said.

The Congress is yet to announce Rajasthan candidates, with CM Gehlot saying all decisions will be taken by consensus.

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