Jaipur: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday hit out at the BJP saying the party denies tickets to Muslims in elections but uses them to topple elected governments.
The BJP’s alleged attempts to dislodge his government are still haunting Gehlot and he trained his guns on union home minister Amit Shah.
Addressing a press conference on completion of two years of the Congress government, Gehlot said, “Union minister Amit Shah, union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and MP Zafar Islam wanted to bring down my government but we foiled their plans.”
In an obvious reference, to Islam, Gehlot said, “The BJP does not give tickets to Muslims but uses them to topple elected governments.”
State BJP president Satish Poonia said Gehlot’s allegations were baseless. He has failed to manage Congress’ internal rift and is blaming the BJP for his party’s troubles, said Poonia.
Congress state incharge Ajay Maken was also present at the press meet when Gehlot took a potshot at former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot without naming him.
“People should not believe rumours from Delhi. These rumours can prop up anyone as a leader. Then that person goes around pretending to be a leader,” Gehlot said.
Asked about the political crisis in the state after Pilot’s rebellion, Gehlot said everyone should forgive and forget it.
“When we were leaving Jaisalmer, We got a message from Delhi that they (Pilot and his supporters) are returning to Jaipur. At that I stated clearly that we should forgive and forget. This was a message for everyone. I clearly stated my intention but if someone does not understand, he is a fool.”
In August this year, the Gehlot government faced a rebellion by Pilot and his supporters who were demanding a change in leadership. The rebels who were stationed in Haryana for over a month finally returned to the party-fold after assurance by the party high command.
Maken has arrived in Jaipur on a two-day visit during which he will meet party workers and leaders and take feedback from them ahead of organisational appointments and a cabinet expansion.
On Maken calling Pilot an asset for the party, Gehlot said Maken was right. “Every leader and worker is an asset for the Congress.”
Gehlot criticised the Centre’s insensitive attitude in handling the farmers' protests.
He said the three bills passed by the state assembly to counter the farm laws are stuck with the governor while an earlier bill passed by the assembly against mob-lynching is lying with the president.