On the advice of party president Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader Sachin Pilot made it clear on Saturday that he has put his differences with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot behind them. Pilot claimed that under the circumstances, joint leadership was the "only way" to win the next assembly elections.
In an exclusive interview with news agency PTI just days after the crucial Rajasthan polls strategy meeting of the party, Pilot said Kharge advised him to "forgive and forget" and move forward. "It was as much an advice as a directive."
"Ashok Gehlot ji is older than me, he has more experience. He has heavy responsibilities on his shoulders. When I was the Rajasthan Congress president, I tried to take everyone along. I think that today he is the Chief Minister (Gehlot), so he is trying to take everyone along.
Pilot: Public is more important than any individual
"If there is a little back and forth, then it is not a big issue because the party and the public are more important than any individual. I also understand this and he also understands it," the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister said.
"He (Kharge) said forgive and forget and look forward and that is applicable to everybody. I believe in that, we now have to move forward and meet new challenges. This country needs the Congress to do well. We need to seek blessings of the people of Rajasthan and in order to do that we have to work unitedly and move forward in a way that is acceptable to the people and to the party workers," Pilot said.
"So who said what, at which time, there is no point talking about it as it does not mean anything. I have always refrained from using any word or language that I feel is unpleasant or is something that I would not want to hear about myself. In public life and politics, it is always good to maintain certain dignity of discourse," Pilot said.
Pilot on next big challenge
"Next challenge for us is to win elections, neither individuals nor statements matter, those are bygones," he said.
Pilot remarks come after Kharge, former party chief Rahul Gandhi, AICC in-charge for Rajasthan Sukhjinder Randhawa, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Dotasra, he and several MLAs and ministers from the state attended a polls strategy meeting at the AICC headquarters here. Gehlot, who is recovering from injuries to his toes, attended the meeting via video conferencing.