'Vasundhara Raje Gehlot's leader, not Sonia Gandhi: Pilot

‘Vasundhara Raje Gehlot’s leader, not Sonia Gandhi: Pilot

Congress leader Sachin Pilot adressing a press conference

Coming down heavily on his advice to Congress MLAs to pay back the money they allegedly received during horse trading and praising former BJP chief minister, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s words clearly show that Vasundhara Raje is his leader, not Sonia Gandhi.

Addressing a press conference at his residence, Pilot said, “For the first time I am seeing someone criticising MPs and MLAs of his own party. Praise of BJP leaders and insult of Congress leaders is beyond my comprehension.”

As the chief minister has not taken action against Raje over grafts during her tenure despite his representation in this regard and one-day maun satyagrah on April 11, Pilot announced a ‘Jan Sangharsh Pad Yatra’ from Ajmer to Jaipur to be launched on May 11 to highlight corruption, competitive examination paper leak and on youth issues in the state.


“I will take out the five-day Padyatra (foot march) of 125 kms, from the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (symbolically to highlight that its member was arrested in a paper leak case). The Yatra will culminate at Jaipur,” he added.

“My protest is not against any person or my own party, it is against the corruption cases and mass paper leak cases which spoiled the career of the youth in the last two-three years,” Pilot argued.

He further said, “On one hand it is being said (by Gehlot) that the MLAs did topple the government, while on the other, it is being said Vasundhara Raje was being credited with saving his government. I want to make it clear that we wanted a change of leadership.”

He recounted how he, along with his supporters, had taken up the matter with late Ahmed Patel that resulted in the formation of a three-member committee. “But unfortunately, a CLP meeting convened on the direction of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the then Congress president, on September 25 last year could not be held under the guidance of Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Makan.”

As regards mass resignation of MLAs, he called it a gross indiscipline and “Gaddari” (treason) committed by the Congressmen under pressure. He asked Gehlot why he put his own government in crisis.

“Many people indulge in gossip to please their leaders. Some say the resignations were at the instance of Amit Shah-NaMo. Such things are also said about me. But if I say this on stage, it won’t be justified,” Pilot averred.

He asked who has caused the indiscipline in the party and put the government in turmoil. “We have not indulged in any indiscipline in the last three years. This is unbecoming of a leader of the stature of Gehlot to indulge in character assassination by calling me ‘nikkama, naakara and gaddar and Corona’,” he lamented.

The senior Congress leader said he came to know why Gehlot did not take any action against former CM Raje after hearing his speech at the Dholpur event. “If he (Gehlot) has any proof of corruption against his own MLAs, he should take legal action against them. By making baseless allegations of horse trading, he is insulting the senior party leaders who have a long political career and the Congress base of 30-40 years like Hemaram Choudhary,” he said.

On May 7 at a public meeting at Rajakhera, Gehlot had asked the MLAs that if they received a amount in the range of Rs 10-20 crore for toppling his government in 2020, and if they have not yet returned it to Amit Shah, the Union home minister, they should do it now.

On the occasion, Gehlot credited Raje, another BJP leader, Kailash Meghwal, for the smooth running of his government during the crisis.