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Gehlot-Pilot war heats up as Raj min urges partymen not to back Sachin's fast

April 10, 2023 23:08 IST

Ahead of Congress leader Sachin Pilot's proposed one-day fast over corruption, a Rajasthan cabinet minister on Monday asked the party workers to not give support to those who are trying to sabotage the work done by the Ashok Gehlot government.


IMAGE: Congress leader Sachin Pilot meets with the protesting wives of soldiers who lost their lives in the 2019's Pulwama terror attack, in Jaipur, March 7, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

ilot on Sunday alleged that the Gehlot-led government failed to investigate cases of alleged corruption during the BJP rule in Rajasthan and announced to hold a day-long fast on Tuesday to press for action.


A Pilot camp MLA said that the former deputy chief minister is raising the issue of corruption in the public interest.

No MLA or minister is expected to join Pilot during the fast but thousands of his supporters from various parts of the state are likely to come to Shaheed Smarak here where he will be sitting on the fast on Tuesday.

The move by Pilot to open the new front against Gehlot amid the factional fighting is seen as an attempt to pressure the high command to resolve the leadership issue ahead of the year-end polls.

Without naming anyone, Revenue Minister Ramlal Jat said that those in the race to the chief minister post should think that it is the party high command who made Gehlot the chief minister of Rajasthan.

He said that the CM builds a wall but one person sabotages it with his wrong statements.

“What does that mean? It is for the party workers to think that they should not give support to such people so that the Congress wins elections. By doing this, we will be able to move forward,” Jat told reporters in Jaipur.

He said that CM Gehlot presented an excellent budget, Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra got outstanding support in the state, and when these things are carried forward, then only the party will be able to win elections.

According to Pilot camp, Congress MLAs and ministers supporting Pilot have been asked not to sit with him tomorrow.

However, his supporters will be there at the fast in solidarity with him.

On the other hand, Pilot loyalist MLA Ved Solanki told NDTV that Pilot has raised a demand for action against the corruption of previous Vasundhara Raje-led Bharatiya Janata Party government and many MLAs are with him, but they have asked to not come.

“These are the issues which the party leaders had raised during elections and had said that investigation against mining scam and other corruption cases will be done,” he said.

When asked about the chances of a split in the Congress, Solanki said, “I cannot comment on this but what I can say about myself is that I am with Pilot.”

Another leader from Pilot camp said that the former deputy chief minister is demanding action against the alleged corruption during the previous BJP regime but the party leadership sees this as a harm to the party.

"No action was taken (by the Gehlot government) on the corruption by the previous Vasundhara Raje government. While in the Opposition, we promised an inquiry into the mines scam of Rs 45,000 crore,” Pilot said at a press conference on Sunday, announcing a hunger strike on Tuesday.

Gehlot and Pilot have been at loggerheads over the post of the chief minister ever since the Congress formed the government in Rajasthan in December 2018.

In July 2020, Pilot and a section of party MLAs rebelled openly, demanding a leadership change in the state. It led to a one-month-long political crisis that ended after assurance by the party high command to look into the issues raised by Pilot.

Following the revolt by Pilot and 18 other MLAs in 2020, Gehlot used terms like “Gaddar”, “Nakara”, “Nikamma” for his former deputy and accused him of being involved with the BJP leaders in a conspiracy to topple the Congress government.

Pilot's demand to order a probe and take action in the alleged mining scam during the previous BJP government and other corruption allegations was supported by state cabinet minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas.

Khachariyawas was the Jaipur Congress president when Pilot was the PCC chief and used to be at the forefront with him in raising the corruption issue.

He was earlier in the Pilot camp but during Pilot's revolt against Gehlot in 2020, Khachariyawas switched to the Gehlot camp.

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