Sachin Pilot traitor, can't be CM: Ashok Gehlot : The Tribune India

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Sachin Pilot traitor, can't be CM: Ashok Gehlot

Mudslinging won’t serve any purpose, says ex-Dy CM

Sachin Pilot traitor, can't be CM: Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. File photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 24

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot on Thursday called his former deputy Sachin Pilot a “traitor” and said he could not replace him as he had revolted against the Congress in 2020 and tried to topple his own government. The remarks have further widened the fissures in the state Congress.

Speaking on the eve of the Bharat Jodo Yatra’s entry into the state, Gehlot said the party was welcome to name any of the 102 MLAs as his replacement “if the high command feels there is any anti-incumbency, but Pilot is unacceptable”. “MLAs will never accept someone who rebelled against his own government and was dubbed a ‘gaddar’ (traitor). How can he become the CM? I have evidence that Rs 10 crore each was paid to MLAs holed up at a resort in Gurugram to destabilise the Congress government in Rajasthan,” Gehlot told a TV channel, reacting to the 2020 revolt which Pilot led before returning to the party. Pilot was thereafter removed from the Deputy CM’s post.

Tried to topple govt

He (Pilot) revolted against the Congress in 2020 and tried to topple his own govt. —Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan CM

Time to take on BJP

Name-calling, mudslinging won’t serve any purpose. It is time to unitedly fight the BJP. —Sachin Pilot, Cong

The Congress was quick to downplay the rising tension in Rajasthan where the Assembly elections are due next year. Rajasthan is one of the only two states, the other being Chhattisgarh, where the party is in power on its own.

“Gehlot is a senior and experienced leader. Whatever differences he has expressed with his younger colleague will be resolved in a manner that strengthens the Congress. It is the duty of every party leader to make the yatra even more impactful,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said.

Pilot, who today walked alongside Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the yatra in Madhya Pradesh, said name-calling and mudslinging won’t serve any purpose. “It is time to unitedly fight the BJP to defeat it and strengthen Rahul Gandhi’s hand,” he said.

Pro-Gehlot MLAs had on September 25 boycotted a CLP meeting which had planned to install Pilot as the CM. The MLAs instead assembled at the residence of state minister Shanti Dhariwal and submitted their resignation.

This led to Gehlot withdrawing from the race for the Congress presidency. Party circles have been rife with speculation of a possible change of guard in the state.

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