Congress leader Sachin Pilot addresses a press conference at his residence, in Jaipur, Tuesday, May 9, 2023 | Photo: PTI
Jaipur (Rajasthan): Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Tuesday took a sharp jibe at Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, saying that his speech in Dholpur showed his leader "is not Sonia Gandhi but Vasundhara Raje Scindia".
Gehlot had claimed that Vasundhara Raje was among BJP leaders who helped him save his government during the revolt by Pilot and some Congress MLAs in 2020 seeking change in leadership in the state.
Addressing a press conference, Pilot also said that he has now understood why Gehlot "has not acted" on his allegations of corruption during the BJP government in the state.
"After listening to Ashok Gehlot's speech in Dholpur, it seems like his leader is not Sonia Gandhi but Vasundhara Raje Scindia... For the first time, I am seeing someone criticize MPs and MLAs of their own party. Praising leaders from BJP and dishonouring Congress leaders is beyond my understanding, this is absolutely wrong," Pilot said.
"I have now understood why the CM (Ashok Gehlot) has not acted against corruption," he added.
Pilot's attack amounts to an escalation of his conflict with Gehlot in the crucial state which will go to the polls by the end of this year.
The attack on Gehlot came a day before polling in Karnataka polls in which Congress is fighting a crucial battle.
Pilot,a former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister, announced that he 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," he said.
Pilot had held a day-long fast last month, even as the party leadership had cautioned him against it, over his demand for action by the Gehlot government for alleged corruption during the BJP rule in the state.
BJP leader Vasundhara Raje had countered Ashok Gehlot's claims, saying Rajasthan Chief Minister is lying out of fear of losing the 2023 Assembly elections and his false allegations show he is rattled by the rebellion in state Congress unit.
Gehlot had credited Vasundhara Raje and two other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for having helped him save his government during the 2020 crisis when some Congress MLAs revolted.
"Gehlot's statement against me is a conspiracy. Nobody can insult me as much as Gehlot has done. He is lying out of fear of losing the 2023 Assembly elections and has made such false allegations as he is rattled by the rebellion in his own party," Raje had said.
Addressing a programme in Dholpur on Sunday, Gehlot alleged that there was a conspiracy against his government.
"Former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Shobha Rani and Kailash Meghwal knew their party people were toppling the government. Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Kailash Meghwal had said that it has never been our tradition to topple the elected government on the basis of money. They did not support those who toppled the government due to which our government survived," Gehlot had said.
Both Pilot and Gehlot have taken potshots at each other in the past forcing the party leadership to intervene.