“A gaddar (traitor) cannot be a chief minister... the Congress high command cannot make Sachin Pilot the chief minister... a man who doesn't have 10 MLAs. Who revolted? He betrayed the party, (he) is a traitor," Gehlot said.
This is one of the sharpest criticism of Ashok Gehlot, against Sachin Pilot since he revolted against the party in 2020. The discord between the two senior leaders of the Congress party has created at least two political crises for the state in 4 years.
Gehlot's comment also came as Vijay Singh Bainsla, the leader of Gurjar Arakshan Sangharh Samiti in Rajasthan claimed to oppose the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ of Rahul Gandhi if his demands are not met, one of which include making Sachin Pilot the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
The firm stand of Gehlot was also visible in September when the party wanted to make him the Congress President but as senior party leaders went to the state, the loyalist of Gehlot rebelled and denied talking to the representatives of high command.
"I am telling you. They (Rajasthan Congress MLAs) were angry because the news was spread that Sachin Pilot will be made chief minister. He also behaved this way. People thought he is going to be a chief minister... Pilot called many MLAs, and he said you leave it to the high command, an observer will come to take your views. So, the MLAs felt that there may be a one-line resolution today, tomorrow will be the swearing-in (of Pilot). Because of this rumor, all of them gathered there," Gehlot said while speaking about the incident.
He also mentioned that during his rebellion, Sachin Pilot met senior leaders from the BJP including Union Ministers, "Amit Shah and Dharmendra Pradhan were involved. They (Pilot included) had a meeting in Delhi," Gehlot alleged, adding that "some got Rs. 5 crores, some Rs. 10 crores."
"In fact, the money was picked up from the BJP office in Delhi," Gehlot claimed. He added that Pradhan visited Pilot camp at a time when the Congress emissaries were not allowed to meet him.
When asked what was their issue if Pilot becomes chief minister, Gehlot said, "How could they bear making Pilot chief minister? People who suffered for 34 days, we know how we survived the 34 days. We had to protest at Raj Bhavan. I was also present there. We worked hard to save the government."
"The whole game was theirs. Rs. 10 crores was distributed by the BJP. I have proof," Gehlot said.