Sachin Pilot has expressed disappointment at Ashok Gehlot-run Rajasthan government and said that the government has failed to try and fulfil the promise it made to the people who voted for them.
In an interview with India Today, Pilot said that he skipped the July 13 CLP meet held at Gehlot’s residence because his self respect was hurt. He said that the state police served him notice under sedition law, the law their party had promised to repeal. “If you remember the Congress party manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, we talked about repealing the draconian sedition laws. And here a Congress government was using it against its own minister,” he told India Today.
Refuting Gehlot’s allegations that Pilot is working with the BJP to topple his government, Pilot said, “I have worked hard to make Congress win in Rajasthan. Why will I work against my own party?” On being sacked by the party, Pilot said it is yet to sink in and he will take further decision after discussing with his followers.
He further clarified that he is not going to join the BJP. He also clarified that he has not met ex-Congress leader and now a BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia in past six months. There were rumours that Scindia might try to get Pilot into BJP fold. Scindia too quit Congress earlier this year after being sidelined by the party.
Pilot said that contrary to popular opinion, he did not hold grudge for not being made the Chief Minister of Rajasthan despite leading the party to victory. “It’s not about becoming the chief minister. I did stake claim for the post of chief minister after I had led the party to victory in 2018. I had valid reasons. I took charge of the party when we were reduced to 21 seats in a house of 200,” he said. However, he expressed disappointment that despite Gehlot’s poor performance in past elections of state and general elections, he was made the Chief Minister.
“He promised a handsome tally for Congress in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress candidate could not win even in Gehlot’s own booth. That’s his experience. Yet, I accepted Rahul Gandhi’s decision to make him the CM,” he said. He said that he became the deputy Chief Minister on insistence of Rahul Gandhi despite his original reluctance. “Rahul ji had asked Gehlot ji to make arrangement for an equitable distribution of power and work. Instead, the CM made it an agenda to corner and humiliate me and prevent me from delivering my commitments to my people,” he sad.
Pilot told India Today that after Rahul Gandhi quit as Congress President, Gehlot and his supporters in Congress “ganged up” against him and since then it has been a struggle for him to protect his self-respect. He further said that none of the Gandhi family members have reached out to him to address his grievances. “I did not have any communication with Congress president Sonia Gandhi ji and Rahul Gandhi ji. Priyanka Gandhi ji spoke to me over phone. It was a personal conversation. It did not lead to any resolution,” he said.
Refuting rumours that he demanded a post of Chief Minister, Pilot said all he wanted was a respectable working environment so promise of equitable work distribution was worked upon. “I repeat, it’s not about power, position or privilege. It’s about dignity and the freedom to work,” he said.