Sachin Pilot announces fast against his govt, CM Ashok Gehlot on corruption issue
9 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
The fault lines in Rajasthan’s Congress unit came to the fore on Sunday, months before elections, when party leader Sachin Pilot launched a new attack on his adversary, Chief Minister Ashok G...
The fault lines in Rajasthan’s Congress unit came to the fore on Sunday, months before elections, when party leader Sachin Pilot launched a new attack on his adversary, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, declaring a one-day fast against corruption on Tuesday.
The 45-year-old leader has requested that the Gehlot administration investigate the alleged corruption of the previous BJP administration led by Vasundhara Raje.
Mr Pilot stated that it was critical to reassure the public that the Congress government was following through on its pledges and commitments made prior to the 2018 assembly elections. He said that the government had done nothing to combat the excise mafia, illicit mining, land encroachment, and the Lalit Modi affidavit issue.
Mr Pilot showed old tapes of Mr Gehlot accusing Ms Raje of corruption and misrule and questioned why he had not launched a probe or inquiry into these allegations. He claimed that the Congress government had proof against the previous BJP administration but had not acted on it.
“We cannot go into the elections with these promises unfulfilled. We have evidence. We should have acted. We should investigate. We are going into elections. The Model Code of Conduct will come into effect soon. We are answerable to the people,” Mr Pilot said.
Mr Pilot also said that he had given many suggestions to the party leadership about affairs in Rajasthan, and one of them was to act on these issues. “It is our government. We need to act. So, people continue to have confidence in us,” he said.
The claims are the latest in a long-running conflict between Mr Pilot and Mr Gehlot that erupted after Rajasthan’s recent elections.
After the Congress won Rajasthan in 2018, the Gandhis reportedly assured Mr Pilot that he would share the Chief Ministership with Mr Gehlot, his senior, for the first half of the five-year tenure. That never happened.
Mr Pilot tried to secure a promotion from Deputy Chief Minister two years later, in 2020, by sequestering approximately 20 MLAs in a resort near Delhi. The message was that he would break the party unless he was handed Mr Gehlot’s job. His exercise, however, died out due to the meagre assistance he received.
When Mr Pilot’s insurrection failed, he was demoted to the position of Deputy Chief Minister and President of the party’s Rajasthan chapter.
Sonia Gandhi met with Mr Gehlot a few days later – the delayed meeting was supposed to express the “high command’s” dissatisfaction – and he apologised profusely for his followers’ behaviour.