Bhopal: Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Thursday termed his senior party colleague and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s ‘gaddar’ (traitor) remarks against him “baseless allegations”, adding they are “false and fabricated”.
Pilot’s reaction came while interacting with the mediapersons during the Congress party’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra” in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district.
“Ashok Gehlot had earlier called me ‘incompetent’, ‘traitor’ and also made lot of allegations. These are completely false, unfounded and unnecessary,” Pilot said while reacting to the remarks made by Gehlot during an interview with a news channel.
“The need of the hour is to strengthen the Congress party. We need to see how we can make Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra a success,” he added.
“We have to put up a united fight to defeat the BJP,” Sachin Pilot said.
Talking about the Rajasthan Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year, Pilot said: “We formed the government twice in Rajasthan under the leadership of Ashok Gehlot. But later we lost both elections… despite that, we accepted (the decision) when the party high command wanted him to head the government. This time our focus needs to be on winning the upcoming election. In such circumstances, it does not look decent for a senior leader to talk about such issues.”
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra also joined former party president Rahul Gandhi who is leading the yatra, on the second day of its Madhya Pradesh-leg.
Earlier, during an interview, Gehlot said: “A ‘gaddar’ (traitor) cannot be chief minister. The Congress high command cannot make Sachin Pilot a CM. A man who doesn’t have 10 MLAs… who revolted… he betrayed the party, (he) is a traitor.”
“I have proof that Rs 10 crore each were distributed to the MLAs who were staying in a Gurugram resort for toppling the Congress government in Rajasthan,” he had said.
A fresh rift arose between Gehlot and Pilot at the time when Rahul Gandhi along with other party leaders has set out on a 3,570 km-long Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to “energise the party”.
The Yatra is to enter Rajasthan next, on December 4.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh, in a bid to do some damage control, said: “Ashok Gehlot is a senior and experienced political leader. The differences he has expressed with his younger colleague Sachin Pilot will be resolved in a manner that strengthens the Congress party. Right now it is the duty of each and every Congressman and Congresswoman to make the already hugely successful Bharat Jodo Yatra even more impactful in the north Indian states.”