A new chapter of factionalism saga in the Rajasthan Congress began on Tuesday when dissident leader of the party Sachin Pilot retorted sharply on the allegations made by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot on some party MLAs about taking money from BJP to topple his government while praising former CM Vasundhara Raje,
The former Deputy of Gehlot said, "After listening to Ashok Gehlot's speech in Dholpur, it seems like his leader is not Sonia Gandhi but Vasundhara Raje."
Addressing a press conference in Jaipur on Tuesday, Sachin Pilot also announced to hold 'Jan Sangharsh Yatra' from Ajmer to Jaipur from May 11, over issues of corruption and question paper leak.
"I will hold a five-day-long 'Jan Sangarsh Yatra' from Ajmer to Jaipur starting May 11. This yatra is against corruption. Any further decision will be taken after this yatra," said Sachin.
The new development took place when senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was in the state to attend a party Shivir at Abu Road. Rahul was to stay here till evening but he left for Delhi in the afternoon.
While in Jaipur, Sachin Pilot, who held a day-long fast last month on the issue of inaction by his government on the corruption cases of the Raje regime, took a jibe at Gehlot and said, "I have now understood why the CM (Ashok Gehlot) has not acted against the corruption cases of the Raje government."
Expressing his disappointment, the former Deputy CM said, "I have been writing letters for the last one and half years about the corruption that took place under Vasundhara Raje's regime, now I have understood why no action or inquiry has been done till now. I sat on a hunger strike on April 11 in Jaipur, but now I have no expectations because the evidence has come to the fore. And why no inquiry will be done is also clear.'
Pilot further stated, 'For the first time, I am seeing someone criticize MPs and MLAs of their own party. Praising leaders from BJP and dishonoring Congress leaders is beyond my understanding, this is wrong as all who have been targeted are with the party for years and are holding key positions.'
For the first time, Sachin Pilot accepted that his faction wanted a leadership change in the state. "My friends and I wanted to change the leadership in the government and went to Delhi with our views. AICC formed a committee. That committee listened to all of us. After that committee, all of us continuously worked to strengthen the Congress, tried with all our hearts, and worked hard. The two-and-a-half-year tenure is proof that no one has ever done anything against the party," said Sachin.
Pilot outrightly refuted and condemned Gehlot's allegations of taking money from The BJP and said, "It is easy to make allegations, but difficult to answer to the public. Such baseless allegations are not the sign of serious politics."
Rajasthan CM claimed BJP leaders helped save his government during 2020 revolt
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday claimed that three BJP leaders, former CM Vasundhara Raje, former assembly speaker Kailash Meghwal, and MLA Shobharani Kushwah, helped save his government during the 2020 revolt by his party MLAs.
His then-deputy Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs revolted against his leadership in July 2020. The month-long crisis ended after the intervention of the party high command, and Pilot was removed from his position.
Allegations of conspiracy and bribery
Gehlot alleged that Union ministers Amit Shah, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Dharmendra Pradhan conspired to topple his government by distributing money in Rajasthan and said that if the rebel Congress MLAs did not return the money they had taken from the BJP, they would always be under pressure from Amit Shah.
He further claimed that the Union home minister would intimidate them, as he had done in Maharashtra, where he divided the Shiv Sena.
Call for the return of the money taken from BJP
Gehlot took potshots at the rebel Congress MLAs and urged them to return the money they had taken from the BJP so that they could carry out their duties without any pressure. He even offered to help recover the funds by giving them part of the money they had spent or getting it from the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
Gehlot and Raje's relationship
Gehlot and Raje have often been accused of going soft on each other, especially when it came to allegations of corruption. However, both leaders have denied any such understanding. A few days ago, Raje rejected allegations of collusion with Gehlot as a lie, saying that milk and lemon juice never mix.
Praise for Congress MLAs
During his address, Mr. Gehlot also praised Congress MLAs Rohit Bohra, Chetan Dudi, and Danish Abrar for alerting him about the revolt against his government in 2020. He said that these three MLAs, BSP-turned-Congress MLAs, and independent MLAs who had supported him and saved his government during the political crisis in 2020 deserved to be made ministers in his government. However, he could not do so due to political reasons and was sad about it.
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