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Pilot demands action against 'corruption' during BJP rule


Published on: April 9, 2023 | Updated on: April 9, 2023

Pilot said he will observe a day-long fast at Shaheed Smarak on April 11 to press for his demand. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The knives are out in the Rajasthan Congress, with former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot charging Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot with not acting on complaints of corruption against former chief minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje Scindia.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Pilot attacked Gehlot over the lack of action against BJP leaders. He will take out a day-long fast in Jaipur to force the state government to act against ‘corrupt leaders’.

"I wrote a letter to CM Ashok Gehlot stating that elections are approaching and we must show the public that there is no difference between our promises and our work. But I have not received any reply from the CM yet. In Rajasthan, neither are we using the investigating agencies nor misusing them. Our workers and the public should not think that we don't fulfil our promises," Pilot said.

"We had fought hard when in the Opposition due to which we came to power. While in Opposition, we raised several issues of corruption under the Vasundhara Raje government. Our credibility won’t be affected when the allegations that we levelled as Opposition are acted upon."

Pilot also played old videos of Gehlot accusing Raje of corruption and misrule and asked why the Chief Minister had not initiated any investigation or inquiry into these matters. He said that the Congress government had evidence against the former BJP government but had not acted on it.

Interestingly, the central leadership has backed the Chief Minister. A statement by Congress communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh praised Gehlot’s work and said that the Congress government in Rajasthan, with Gehlot as Chief Minister, had implemented a large number of schemes and has taken many new initiatives which have impacted people profoundly. "This has given the state a leadership position in governance in our country," Ramesh said.

"Later in the year, the Congress will seek a renewed mandate from the people on the strength of these landmark achievements and the collective efforts of our organisation, " the statement read.

The development assumes significance as there are only seven months left for the Rajasthan Assembly elections. The power tussle between Gehlot and Pilot has been going on for some time now. The previous Congress leadership wanted a change of guard in the state in September last year and a legislative party meeting was called but the meeting could not take place due to some MLAs raising slogans against the Congress high command.

Since then, the process of ‘leadership change’ has been going on but to no effect. The disciplinary committee, which was supposed to act against three MLAs leading the coup, has also not come to any conclusion for six months.

In the meantime, Rajasthan general secretary in charge Ajay Maken also resigned citing inaction. However, the high command has not taken any action till date. The infighting prevalent in the state unit and inaction of the high command is set to cost the party in the upcoming Assembly polls.