Days after war of words, Gehlot and Pilot appear together in show of solidarity

Both Congress leaders affirmed that Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, entering the State on December 4, would be an ‘outstanding success’

Updated - November 29, 2022 09:41 pm IST

Published - November 29, 2022 06:05 pm IST - Jaipur

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot appear together in Jaipur after a meeting to review preparations for Bharat Jodo Yatra, attended by AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal on November 29, 2022.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot appear together in Jaipur after a meeting to review preparations for Bharat Jodo Yatra, attended by AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal on November 29, 2022. | Photo Credit: Photo: Special Arrangement

Days after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot made some stinging remarks on his former deputy Sachin Pilot and called him a “traitor”, the two Congress leaders appeared together in a show of solidarity here on Tuesday. Both of them affirmed that former party president Rahul Gandhi’sBharat Jodo Yatra, entering the State on December 4, would be an “outstanding success”.

A meeting to review preparations for the yatra, attended by AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal, at the Congress ‘war room’ here brought the two feuding leaders together. While Mr. Venugopal said the Congress in Rajasthan was united, Mr. Gehlot made a mention of Mr. Gandhi’s statement describing him and Mr. Pilot as “assets to the party”.

“When the message has come from our top leader, we will work in unison in the party’s interest. This is the biggest virtue of Congress... When our leader says something, there is no scope [for doubt]. We will strengthen the party with full force,” Mr. Gehlot told reporters after the meeting of Pradesh Congress’s coordination committee for the yatra.

Read | After Gehlot’s remarks on Pilot, exercise for early budget presentation begins in Rajasthan

In an interview with NDTV last week, Mr. Gehlot had said the Congress high command would never make Mr. Pilot the Chief Minister because he had betrayed the party by staging a rebellion in 2020 and did not have even 10 MLAs with him. Mr. Pilot later said in response that it was unbecoming of a senior leader to use such words and the Congress had lost Assembly elections twice under Mr. Gehlot’s leadership.

Mr. Venugopal, a Rajya Sabha member elected from Rajasthan, came here on a day’s visit apparently to resolve the infighting, bring the two warring factions together and oversee the preparations for the yatra. He was seen raising the hands of both Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot in front of the television cameras in an attempt to send across a message of unity in the ruling party.

The AICC general secretary was closeted with the two leaders for some time after the coordination committee’s meeting ended. Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot stood next to each other when Mr. Venugopal told reporters that he was happy with the arrangements being done for the yatra and was confident that the march would be very successful during its 18-day leg in Rajasthan.

Mr. Pilot said the yatra, entering the State from Jhalawar district, would be welcomed with “maximum enthusiasm and energy” and the party workers would ensure that it turned out to be a “historic event”. “People from all sections of society will join the yatra on their own... People want accountability of those at the helm of power at the Centre,” he said.

While Mr. Gehlot said the main issue before the Congress was the 2023 Assembly election, in which the party would get an overwhelming support of the people, Mr. Venugopal said the statements and remarks passed by several party leaders despite his instructions had been brought to his notice. “I have asked for a report [on this] from the Pradesh Congress Committee president,” he said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.