No end to troubles for Congress in Rajasthan; Sachin Pilot gives ultimatum of “andolan”
Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], May 15 (ANI): Giving an ultimatum to Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government, former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Monday said that if his demands against “corruption” are not met within the end of this month, the Congress leader will launch an “andolan” (movement) across the state.The Rajasthan unit of Congress is continuing to give a headache to the party’s high command as the simmering tensions between Gehlot and Sachin pilot have come out in the open just ahead of Assembly elections in the state scheduled to be held later this year. The Congress which is celebrating the victory of Karnataka Assembly poll results, will have to soon address the issue.
Sachin Pilot has put forward three demands – action against corruption charges on the previous BJP government, disbandment and reconstitution of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) and its reconstitution, and compensation for those affected by the paper leaks – and demanded action by the end of this month.
Proving his point, Pilot took out a 5-day Jan Sangharsh Yatra’ which culminated on Monday in Jaipur. He had started his yatra on May 11 to protest against the inaction of the Rajasthan government in the alleged corruption cases during the previous Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in the State.
Addressing a public meeting here, Pilot warned the state government of his own party to start agitation in the entire state from next month if the three demands raised by him are not fulfilled by this month.
Addressing the last day of the ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’, Pilot said, “During the five years of BJP rule under Vasundhara Raje, there was corruption and loot. While in the opposition, CM Gehlot had also levelled these allegations. But, now four and a half years have passed under our government, but the promises made have not been fulfilled. No action has been taken on the corruption charges.
“I wrote letters, went on hunger strike, but still nothing happened. So I felt that nothing will happen until I go among the public and started the yatra,” he added.
Stating that the people are his only ‘capital’, the Congress leader said that he will carry out an ‘andolan’ across the state in case his demands are not met.
“This time I did an ‘anshan’ in a ‘Gandhiwaadi’ manner. But, if our demands are not met by the end of this month, I will hold an ‘andolan’ along with the public in the entire state. We will walk through the streets, towns and villages along with the people. We will continue to raise the issues of the public and fight for their justice,” he said.
Pilot added, “We don’t have anything of our own. We just wore the shoes and started the yatra. I didn’t even have any expectations of who will come in the yatra. But, people turned up in huge numbers on such short notice. Now, the only capital that we have is the public. Along with them, we will do the ‘andolan’, we will reach every corner of the state and bring justice”.
The former Deputy CM alleged that he didn’t receive any support from the government when he raised questions about the paper leak in the state.
“When I raised the issue of the paper leak, I received the response that no officer was involved in it. Our fight is not against any leader but against corruption. Ask the students whose papers got cancelled. Our mass struggle is not against any leader. But against corruption,” he said.
Further slamming CM Gehlot he added, “The order was broken on September 25, when Sonia Gandhi was betrayed. We tolerated it, but you kept on reaping benefits and speaking against us”.
He further told the people that he will continue to serve the people of the state and dem
“Today is the last day of our ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’. But I want to say that all the three demands of ours should be met. I demand that every student affected by the paper leak should be given compensation. The RPSC should be dissolved and a new organisation should be formed. The corruption allegations under Vasundhara Raje government should be probed,” he said.
Pilot added, “I want to promise the people, whether I am on any post or not, I will continue to serve Rajasthan till my last breath. I swear I am not going to back down and will make whatever sacrifice is required”.
Many MLAs supporting Sachin Pilot also appeared on the stage in the public meeting held in Jaipur. Among them, state cabinet minister Hemaram Chowdhary, minister Rajendra Singh Gudha, MLA Ved Prakash Solanki, Mukesh Bhakar, Ramniwas Gawadia, Dipendra Singh Shekhawat, Harish Meena, Amar Jatav, Rakesh Pareek, Girraj Malinga, Suresh Modi were present in the public meeting.
Other than Sachin Pilot, several other prominent leaders also launched attacks against the Rajasthan government.
Rajasthan Minister Hemaram Chowdhary said that if people want a “change in leadership” it is not a “crime”.
Addressing the event, Chowdhary said, “One can’t clap just with one hand. There is still time to think. I don’t understand whose government is in Rajasthan. The Chief Minister says that Vasundhara Raje saved our government.
“If someone talks about a change of leadership in the party, is it a crime? If people say it will they be punished?” You can punish Hemaram if you want to.”
He said alleged that those who “flatter” the CM have several corruption allegations and should be put in jail.
“If we are corrupt, then you are the Chief Minister. Start the probe against us. If you say that Hemaram is corrupt, then remove me from the cabinet,” he said.
The Minister added, “Those who are around you and flatter you . You should look at their corruption and put them in jail”. those around you who flatter you and put them in jail. The Badshah (king) should follow his religion”.
Rajasthan Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Rajendra Gudha also levelled serious allegations against his own government in the state and alleged that it has broken “all records of corruption”.
Addressing the event, he said, “Shanti Dhariwal is saying that CM Gehlot made many people drink water. I would like to say that the people of this state are thirsty, provide them with some water to drink. Dhariwal Ji…no file comes out of your office without corruption”.
“The alignment of this government was worsened. Our government has broken all records of corruption. I even have proof of CM Gehlot buying MLAs,” he added.
Further slamming his own government, Gudha claimed that CM Gehlot considers Sachin Pilot as “opposition”.
“Both Ashok Gehlot and Vasundhara Raje got corona at the same time. There is a mixed government in the state. The Chief Minister considers Sachin Pilot only as his opposition,” he said.
The Minister added, “One should remember that when Congress party was reduced to 21 seats, it was Pilot only who took it past 100. He made you (Gehlot) the Chief Minister, but you consider him only as the opposition”.
Reacting to the ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’, senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha Leader of Opposition (LoP) said that despite what one does, Ashok Gehlot is one of the most “capable Chief Ministers”.
“Let anyone do what they want. Congress party knows how to deal with every challenge. Ashok Gehlot is one of the most capable CMs,” he told ANI.
Meanwhile, the assembly polls are scheduled to be held in Rajasthan later this year and the Congress party is seeking another term ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls in 2024.
Asked about the unity in the Rajasthan Congress in view of upcoming State polls, Pilot had earlier said, “Neither do I hurl allegations at anyone nor do I have any rift with anyone on an individual level.”
Pilot who has been vocal about the inaction by the Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government regarding the alleged corruption during the previous BJP government in the State, said that he and the Chief Minister have to fight “unitedly” against corruption, however, Gehlot did not take steps in this regard. (ANI)