Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot appear together first time after Rajasthan CM’s ‘traitor’ remark

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Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot appear together in Jaipur after a meeting to review preparations for Bharat Jodo Yatra, attended by AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal on November 29, 2022. Photo: Special Arrangement

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot appear together in Jaipur after a meeting to review preparations for Bharat Jodo Yatra, attended by AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal on November 29, 2022. Photo: Special Arrangement

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot appeared together in Jaipur after a meeting to review preparations for Bharat Jodo Yatra, attended by AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal. Mr. Pilot says the yatra will be welcomed in the State with enthusiasm and will be a “historic event”.

They appeared together to speak to reporters after the meeting.

Read | After Gehlot’s remarks on Pilot, exercise for early budget presentation begins in Rajasthan

The development comes a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called both Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot assets to the party.

“When Rahul Gandhi has said that our leaders are assets then we are assets… where is the dispute then,” Mr. Gehlot said when asked about the former party president’s observation. “When the message has come from the top leader, we will work unitedly in the party’s interest.”

Mr. Gehlot’s remarks were in sharp contrast to the interview he gave last week to NDTV, calling Mr. Pilot, with whom he is caught in a tussle for power, a “traitor”.

Asked to comment, Mr. Gandhi told reporters in Indore on Monday that both leaders were assets to the party.

“This is the beauty of our party that after our top leader says anything, there is no scope (for further argument),” Mr. Gehlot told reporters here.

Last week’s jibe by Mr. Gehlot — and a sharp response from Mr. Pilot — came just days before Mr. Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is scheduled to enter Rajasthan.

The CM said all leaders together will make the yatra a success in the State.

“Rahul Gandhi also meant that every party worker is an asset,” he added.

Mr. Gehlot on Thursday told NDTV that Mr. 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, Mr. 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, Mr. Gehlot said that the party should bother about itself instead of commenting on the Congress.

(With PTI inputs)

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