Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Saturday that he will welcome back the rebel Congress MLAs if the Congress leadership “forgives them.”
“It depends on the high command. If the high command forgives them then I will embrace them, I have no pressure points,” Gehlot told reporters in Jaisalmer on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters in Jaisalmer before leaving for Jaipur, the chief minister kept up his accusations against the BJP of trying to topple his government and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should intervene to stop the “drama” in Rajasthan. MLAs supporting the Gehlot government were shifted to a hotel in Jaisalmer on Friday.
“Rahul Gandhi ji had once said in Gujarat that RSS and BJP ideology will stay in the nation, and we have no objection. In a democracy, the fight is of ideology, policy, programmes. The fight isn’t that you topple the chosen government, where will democracy be left?” the CM said. “Our fight is to save democracy, not against any person. Modi ji should – he’s the PM, people have given him a chance twice…so the PMshould get this tamasha to end,” he said.
Gehlot added that the game of horse trading is very big this time and that the BJP had tasted blood in Karnataka and MP.
“Unfortunately, this time the BJP’s game of horse trading is very big because they have tasted blood in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and that is why they are applying it here. The entire Home ministry is engaged in this work. Several ministers such as Dharmendra Pradhanji, Piyush Goyalji are involved,” said Gehlot.
Gehlot also launched a scathing attack against Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Citing the alleged audio tapes which purportedly have the minister conspiring against the Gehlot government, the chief minister called for Shekhawat’s resignation. The Union Minister has denied the allegations.
Taking potshots at state BJP president Satish Poonia, Gehlot said that people like him are newly-made leaders who want to challenge former chief minister Vasundhara Raje and are competing with other leaders such as Rajendra Rathore while Raje has disappeared. After arriving in Jaipur, Gehlot told reporters that he would be writing to PM, urging him to conduct more video conferences with CMs to take stock of the Covid-19 situation. “The lockdown has gone on for long and till now revenues of states have reached barely forty per cent, I can speak for Rajasthan… can you imagine how work will be done if there is no revenue? So we are concerned about what plans can be formulated…” said Gehlot.
(With inputs from Hamza Khan)
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