Show of unity by Gehlot, Pilot ahead of Gandhi's yatra

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Jaipur: In a show of unity days after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had called his former deputy Sachin Pilot a “traitor”, the two Congress leaders appeared together here on Tuesday.

“This is the Rajasthan Congress,” All India Congress Committee general secretary said, as he held the hands of both leaders locked in a tussle of power in the party's state unit.

The leaders were addressing a press conference after participating in a meeting on preparations for the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra, scheduled in enter Rajasthan on December 4.

Venugopal recalled former party president Rahul Gandhi's remarks in Indore Monday, when he said both leaders are assets to the party.

Gandhi had been asked to comment on Gehlot's “traitor” remarks that had seemed to queer the pitch for the Rajasthan phase of the yatra led by him.

“Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have assured that the Yatra will be the one of the most successful in the country. I am also sure that Rajasthan will also be the number 1 state,” Venugopal told reporters.

Earlier, while going to the meeting, Gehlot too had recalled Gandhi's remarks.

“When Rahul Gandhi has said that our leaders are assets then we are assets... where is the dispute then,” the CM said.

“This is the beauty of our party that after our top leader says anything, there is no scope (for further argument),” he said.

Gehlot on Thursday told NDTV that Pilot is a 'ghaddar' (traitor) who cannot replace him as he had revolted against the Congress in 2020, and tried to topple the state government. In response, Pilot said such "mud-slinging" would not help.

The CM told reporters here that the main issue before the party is the 2023 assembly election, and claimed that the mood is in the favour of the Congress.

“We will win the assembly elections. We have introduced several unique schemes and programmes which are benefitting people across the state. I get an overwhelming response from people when I go on visits. It means that the government is going to be repeated,” he said.

Targeting the BJP, Gehlot said that the party should bother about itself instead of commenting on the Congress.

On reports of NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Suman Bery's concern over the revival of the Old Pension Scheme, the CM said the NITI Aayog or the Reserve Bank of India should first tell what concerns they had raised at the time of demonetisation.

He said the old scheme for government employees was revived in the state for social security.


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