Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s ‘gaddar’ (traitor) remark against fellow Congress leader Sachin Pilot sparked a row on Thursday. A day after, the party said it was “taken by surprise” at Gehlot’s choice of words for Pilot. His remarks came amid attempts by the Pilot camp leaders to make him the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
On Friday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said Gehlot’s remarks were “unexpected” and “surprising”. “The words used by Ashok Gehlot were unexpected and surprising to many Congress leaders. Congress is a family and the leadership will discuss a way to resolve the matter. The party needs both an experienced leader like Ashok Gehlot and an energetic youth leader like Sachin Pilot,” he told NDTV.
Earlier on Thursday, Ramesh had condemned CM Gehlot’s remark and said that the differences should be resolved in a manner that strengthens the Congress. “Ashok Gehlot is a senior and experienced political leader. Whatever differences he has expressed with his younger colleague Sachin Pilot will be resolved in a manner that strengthens the Congress,” he had said.
In an interview with NDTV on Thursday, Gehlot had gone all out to slam Sachin Pilot and attempts by his camp to unseat him the CM post. Gehlot dismissed the demand, saying a “gaddar (traitor) cannot be chief minister”. He reiterated his stand on the matter and said the Congress High Command cannot make Sachin Pilot the Chief Minister, “a man who doesn’t have 10 MLAs, who revolted against his own party”.
Talking about Sachin Pilot’s 2020 revolt, Gehlot said it was “funded by the BJP”. “In a first for India, a party’s own president tried to bring it down.” he said, adding it was enabled by senior BJP leaders including Amit Shah.
Not so long after Gehlot’s remarks, Sachin Pilot responded back saying, “This is not a time for accusation. No one should be this insecure. Under his leadership Congress has lost battle twice. Nothing is permanent in politics, and we should work together to defeat BJP.”
While Ashok Gehlot alleged that BJP was behind attempts to unseat him from CM post in 2020, Pilot responded saying, “Only Congress can challenge the BJP in the country. Elections are underway in Gujarat, where Ashok Gehlot is in-charge. We have to put up an united fight to defeat the BJP.”
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