After the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia, all eyes are now on Rajasthan as spolight is on the ongoing friction between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. Reports have surfaced saying that the Congress-led Rajasthan government has spent over Rs 25 crore between December 2018 and November 2019 on advertisements which had photographs Ashok Gehlot and not Sachin Pilot.
According to a report by Indian Express, while replying to an RTI query, the Information and Public Relation Department revealed that Rajasthan government had spent Rs 25.08 crore on 62 advertisements in national and regional dailies and other publications, including Congress-backed National Herald and Navjivan, on various occasions between December 17, 2018 and November 11, 2019.
The Information and Public Relation Department while giving details of the advertisements said that had photographs of Ashok Gehlot only and not of Sachin Pilot.
After Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party to join the BJP camp, both Gehlot and Pilot spoke differently. While Gehlot launched a scathing attack on the young leader, accusing him of betraying both ideology and trust of people.
Gehlot took to Twitter on Tuesday soon after Scindia announced his resignation and said: “Joining hands with BJP in a time of national crisis speaks volumes about a leaders self-indulgent political ambitions. Especially when the BJP ruining the economy, democratic institutions, social fabric and as well the Judiciary.”
In another tweet, Gehlot said: “Mr Scindia has betrayed the trust of the people as well as the ideology. Such people proves they can’t thrive without power. Sooner they leave the better.”
While on the other hand, Sachin Pilot termed the development unfortunate, saying he wished things could have been fixed within the party "collaboratively". "Unfortunate to see @JM_Scindia parting ways with @INCIndia. I wish things could have been resolved collaboratively within the party," Pilot said in a tweet on Wednesday.
The tweets came hours after Scindia joined the BJP in Delhi in the presence of party chief J.P. Nadda, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Vice-President Vinay Sahasrabudhhe and others.
In Rajasthan, ever since the government formation, Pilot has not been on good terms with Gehlot and was critical on many issues, including the death of children in Kota government hospital. The power tussle between the two leaders resulted in the Congress failing to win even a single seat in the Lok Sabha polls. Drubbing in the LS polls prompted the Pilot's camp to further step up their attack on Gehlot and question his leadership credentials.
In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress has the support of 112 MLAs including three from the CPI(M) and one from the RLD. The BJP has 80 MLAs.