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‘Natural for MLAs to be upset’: Ashok Gehlot after truce reached between Sachin Pilot, Congress

The breakthrough, which had threatened the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in the state, followed after Pilot met top party leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi earlier on Monday.

SNS | New Delhi |

With a truce having been reportedly reached between rebel leader Sachin Pilot and the Congress to end Rajasthan government’s survival crisis, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said the MLAs supporting him are a little “upset” over the turn of events in the last few days.

Speaking to reporters, Gehlot said it is natural for the MLAs to be upset but he has explained to them that they need to be tolerant in order to serve the people.

“It is natural for MLAs to be upset; the manner in which this episode occurred and the way in which they stayed for a month, it was natural. I have explained to them that sometimes we need to be tolerant if we have to serve the nation, state, people and save the democracy,” the chief minister said.

He asserted that the fight is to save democracy and it will continue. “All our MLAs stayed together for such a long time. This is a victory of the people of Rajasthan. It is our duty to serve the people of the state,” Ashok Gehlot said.

“We will work together. Our friends who had gone away have now come back. I hope that we will do away with all our differences and fulfil our resolve to serve the state,” he added.

The chief minister’s remarks indicating that the tension between the two camps is far from over came a day after he met with Congress MLAs staying at a hotel in Jaisalmer.

After the resolution of the crisis arising out of rebellion by Congress MLAs owing allegiance to Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said that he would try to know their grievances and then try to win them over.

Gehlot was speaking to the media before leaving for Jaisalmer, where MLAs from his camp are staying, to chair a Congress Legislature Party meeting.

“As the Chief Minister, it is my responsibility to win the hearts of my MLAs if they have any cause to be annoyed with me. We will try to figure out what all promises were made to them and why they have grudges,” he said.

The Chief Minister also attacked the BJP, saying that all their plans and projections have failed badly.

Meanwhile, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, who returned to Rajasthan on Tuesday ahead of the crucial Assembly session from August 14 after reaching an understanding with the top Congress leadership, said that he was “quite hurt” with the statements made against him since the crisis erupted.

The kind of words used against me left me quite hurt,” he said at a press conference in Jaipur.

Pilot, who was also the state Congress chief but was removed after his rebellion, also said that he had not demanded any post from the party.

He stressed that he never made any statement against the party and in fact, went to Delhi to discuss issues with the Congress high command.

“I never ever demanded any post from the party. However, the kind of words used against me left me sad and shocked,” he said, adding that there should not be any space for any “vendetta politics”.

He also termed as “unjustified” the SOG notice, with sedition charges, which was sent to him, adding that he wanted to narrate the entire episode of the SOG and the ACB to the party leadership. “The suspension orders, police case and all such episodes were not all positive,” he added.

“We simply wanted to present our issues to the party high command and never had any intentions to go against the party,” he maintained.

“We never gave any statement which was anti-party,” he added.

Indicating an end to the rebellion in the Congress’ Rajasthan unit, a meeting took place between Pilot and his loyalists and the three-member panel formed by interim party chief Sonia Gandhi to look into their grievances, at the war room in the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on Monday evening.

The breakthrough, which had threatened the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in the state, followed after Pilot met top party leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi earlier on Monday. The two Gandhis subsequently held discussions with Sonia Gandhi, who in turn, announced the formation of a three-member panel comprising Priyanka Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal.

Rebel leader Sachin Pilot, after daylong deliberations to chart out a path for reconciliation with the party, told reporters on Monday evening that his rebellion was meant to flag “ideological issues”.

“Since past some time, some MLAs were in Delhi. There were some issues which we wanted to highlight. I did that. I had been saying since the beginning that all these things were based on principle. I always thought these things are essential to be raised in party’s interest,” he said.

“Several things were said, I heard a lot of things. I was surprised by a few things that were said. I think we should always maintain restraint and humility,” Pilot said and added that “there is no place for personal malice in politics.”

He further said the party gives posts and has the authority to take it back and asserted that he has “no desire” for any post but “wanted self-respect to remain intact.”

After Sachin Pilot and the rebel MLAs gave the second CLP meeting a miss on July 14, the Congress announced the removal of Pilot as the Deputy Chief Minister as well as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief.

On July 12, the sulking leader had declared open rebellion against his party by claiming that he has the support of 30 MLAs.

The whole political crisis began on the night of July 10 when the Rajasthan Police sent a notice to Pilot, asking him to record his statement over an alleged attempt to bring down the government.