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'Sachin Pilot can't be CM': Ashok Gehlot targets his former deputy again, calls him 'traitor'

'Sachin Pilot can't be CM': Ashok Gehlot targets his former deputy again, calls him 'traitor'

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has again repeated his charge that Pilot is a 'traitor' who cannot be the chief minister.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has once again targeted his former deputy Sachin Pilot and called him a 'traitor' for the rebellion he led in 2020. He has again repeated his charge that Pilot is a 'traitor' who cannot be the chief minister.  

"The High Command cannot make Sachin Pilot the Chief Minister... a man who doesn't have 10 MLAs. who revolted. He betrayed the party, (he) is a traitor," he said while speaking to NDTV.

Gehlot also said that it must be a first for India that a party president tried to bring down his own government. He was referring to a rebellion led by Pilot in 2020. Gehlot also claimed that the move by Pilot was funded by the BJP and enabled by senior BJP leaders including Amit Shah.

Gehlot has been locked in a power tussle with Pilot ever since Congress returned to power in 2018. However, the differences between the duo escalated and became public after Pilot along with 19 other MLAs rebelled against Gehlot in 2020. While Pilot claimed his rebellion was against the way the power was consolidated among the select few, Gehlot alleged that he was moving as per the plan hatched by the BJP to bring down the state government.

The central leadership of the Congress managed to pacify Pilot but in the process, he lost the posts of state party chief and Deputy CM. Now, Pilot hopes to be given the charge of state but Gehlot has been projecting him as someone who cannot be trusted and has no support on the ground. Ever since that rebellion episode, both don't see eye to eye. While Pilot has been quite measured in his statements, Gehlot has been very vocal about the former state chief.

In July 2020, as the rebellion was unfolding, Gehlot took a dig at Pilot and said speaking good English and being handsome isn’t everything. "What is in your heart for the country, your ideology, policies, and commitment, everything is important," he had said.

Till last month, Gehlot was among the few senior leaders whom former party chief Sonia Gandhi trusted. In October, he was set to file the nomination for the president post of Congress. However, as the news spread that Gehlot might be the next party chief, MLAs from his camp feared that Pilot may replace him as CM. 

To curtail any such move, 80-plus MLAs close to Gehlot resigned as legislators and demanded that the next chief minister should not be from those who rebelled against the party in 2020. This did not go down well with the central leadership and Gehlot was out of the presidential election race. 

Published on: Nov 24, 2022, 5:54 PM IST
Posted by: Saurabh Sharma, Nov 24, 2022, 5:37 PM IST