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Rajasthan: Sachin Pilot takes a dig at Ashok Gehlot, says Rahul Gandhi’s praise shouldn’t upset anyone

In July 2020, Pilot along with 18 other disgruntled Congress MLAs, revolted against the leadership of Gehlot which created a crisis for the government.

Rajasthan Chief minister Ashok Gehlot. (File photo)

In a veiled attack on Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Monday said that no one should be unnecessarily upset if Rahul Gandhi has praised his “patience”.

Pilot said this while reacting to Gehlot’s recent remarks on the 2020 rebellion against the Rajasthan government.

The former Rajasthan deputy chief minister also said that Gehlot is an experienced, elderly and father figure for him and he does not take his words otherwise.

“Earlier also, Gehlot ji has said many things about me like ‘Nakara’ (useless), ‘Nikamma’ (idle),” Pilot said.

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“During a programme in Delhi, former president Rahul Gandhi praised my patience. If a leader like Rahul Gandhi likes and appreciates my patience, then no one should be unnecessarily upset and should take it in the right spirit,” Pilot told reporters in Tonk.

Gehlot had on Saturday said Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has proved with his statement that he was the main character in the attempts to topple his government in 2020 and was involved with Sachin Pilot.

Parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal said in Kota on Sunday that whatever Gehlot said was correct.

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Few days ago, Shekhawat had said Sachin Pilot missed, asserting that had it been done in Rajasthan like what was done by the MLAs of Madhya Pradesh in 2020, work on the Eastern Rajasthan Canal project would have started.

Pilot said that Shekhawat became a Union minister because he won from Jodhpur in 2019 Lok Sabha elections despite Congress being in power in the state, and termed it (losing election) a ‘chook’ (mistake) on part of the party.

“We were in power yet we lost Jodhpur seat in the Lok Sabha elections. This was a ‘chook’ (mistake) by us,” he said.

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It may be noted that Jodhpur is the hometown of CM Gehlot and his son Vaibhav Gehlot had unsuccessfully contested against Shekhawat in 2019 elections.

Pilot, who was PCC chief during the previous BJP rule, said the party had challenged the BJP on every front and the workers did hard work that paved the way for the formation of the Congress government.

Pilot said his only focus is now to ensure that the party retains power in the 2023 assembly elections and he has given suggestions to party chief Sonia Gandhi and other leaders regarding this, and work on the suggestions is being done.

“My entire focus is on how the Congress’ government should be formed again in the state,” he said.

He said that if the Congress and the government work together, then the party will be able to retain the government in the state.

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Pilot also said that workers continue to get respect. “How can we forget the people who did everything for the party in the elections?” Pilot said.

Regarding the contractual recruitment in defence forces through Agnipath scheme, Pilot said, “The scheme announced by the Centre is being opposed all over India. There is resentment among the people. We want to force the government to take it back.” On the political crisis in Maharashtra, Pilot said, “Our alliance of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP continues even today and alliance partners have said that the coalition government has done a good job. The government will complete its five-year term.” Pilot and Gehlot were at loggerheads soon after the victory of the

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Congress in December 2018 assembly polls to become the chief minister.

The party made Gehlot the CM of Rajasthan for a third time and gave Pilot the post of deputy CM.

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In July 2020, Pilot along with 18 other disgruntled Congress MLAs, revolted against the leadership of Gehlot which created a crisis for the government. Later, Pilot was sacked as deputy CM and PCC chief. The month-long crisis ended after the intervention of Rahul Gandhi.

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First published on: 28-06-2022 at 10:44:56 am
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