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Gehlot: Congress brass steers clear of Pilot’s outburst, heaps praise on Gehlot | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Appearing to have made its pick in the Rajasthan drama, Congress rebuffed Sachin Pilot’s public outburst against chief minister Ashok Gehlot and announced that the party will seek fresh mandate in the end-year elections on the achievements of the Gehlot administration.
A brief statement from Congress steered clear of Pilot and lavished praise on Gehlot for implementing schemes and taking initiatives which have “profoundly impacted” the people of the state. “This has given the state a leadership position in governance in our country. The Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan was an outstanding success, made possible by the dedication and determination of the party organisation in the state. Later in the year, Congress will seek a renewed mandate from the people on the strength of these landmark achievements and the collective efforts,” AICC spokesman Jairam Ramesh said.
The categorical statement was issued after clearance from top Congress leaders, but sources said there may be an outreach to Pilot to convince him to drop the ante and focus on future.
Pilot told TOI, “I have spoken against corruption and Congress has always stood against corruption. It is about action that should be taken on allegations we levelled against the previous BJP regime led by Vasundhara Raje.”
If the party appeared to have made its choice in the “Gehlot vs Pilot” clash, it is because sections within believe that Pilot may have made up his mind about his future course of action by going public against his bete noire.
The Rajasthan Congress drama has lingered since Pilot, in mid-2020, revolted with a pack of MLAs, and the state government barely survived after a month-long stalemate. Since then, the young leader appeared to have attempted to mend fences with the AICC brass, but failed to extract a compromise with Gehlot.
AICC Rajasthan in-charge Sukhjinder Randhawa told TOI that Pilot did not give any hint of unrest in his discussions with him, and that the Rajasthan leader should have spoken to him about the issues he raised on Sunday. “If I had not acted, then he could have nursed a grievance,” he said.
Well-placed sources said Pilot’s “frustration” appeared to go deeper, as he repeatedly conveyed to the party that he wanted Rahul Gandhi to personally mediate between him and Gehlot. The message was conveyed on multiple occasions, but ignored. At the same time, Randhawa too had earlier submitted a report to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, in which he recommended that the party chief call Gehlot and Pilot for three-way discussions to sort out their differences.
With the issue moving nowhere, Pilot appeared to have concluded that the leadership was not keen to put him on par with Gehlot.

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