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Published On: Wed, Jun 5th, 2019

Rajasthan Congress Goes Public With “Remove  Gehlot” Call

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images (1)JAIPUR/ NEW DELHI : Amid the rift in the Rajasthan Congress over the Lok Sabha debacle, a party MLA Wednesday said Ashok Gehlot should be replaced with his deputy Sachin Pilot as the state chief minister.Todabhim MLA Prithviraj Meena said the chief minister should bear the responsibility for the election drubbing after the party failed to bag any of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Rajasthan Congress lawmaker has gone public with his call for a leadership change and the removal of Ashok Gehlot as Chief Minister, adding to the veteran’s troubles after a national election rout that a section of the party blames on him. “Sachin Pilot should be CM.
“A chief minister is responsible for an election defeat when the party is in power and when it is in the opposition, the responsibility lies with the party president,” Meena told reporters at the party office here. The MLA, however, said it was his individual opinion that Sachin Pilot should be made the CM.
On Tuesday, Meena had expressed displeasure over chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s remarks in a TV interview that his deputy and state Congress chief Sachin Pilot should take responsibility for his son Vaibhav Gehlot’s defeat from Jodhpur, suggesting that it was against the interest of the party.
Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday provided a clarification for his earlier remarks blaming his deputy and Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot for the defeat of his son, Vaibhav Gehlot, from Jodhpur constituency in the Lok Sabha elections. CM, in an interview to ABP News, had reportedly said, “Pilot had said that Vaibhav would win by a huge margin because we have six MLAs (in Jodhpur) and that good campaigning was done in the area. Given the reasons, I think that he should take responsibility for Vaibhav’s defeat. Jodhpur has been Ashok Gehlot’s stronghold for several years and he was elected five times from the Lok Sabha seat.
He had reportedly taken part in over 130 rallies and road shows, 93 of them in Jodhpur alone. His son, however, lost to the BJP, which took 24 of the 25 seats in the state, with one seat going to its ally. In his maiden election, Vaibhav Gehlot lost to Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by a margin of 2,74,440 votes. Congress president Rahul Gandhi had also reportedly criticised Gehlot for putting his son above the party.
Later on Tuesday, Gehlot attended an iftar party hosted by Pilot at the headquarters of the Congress’s state unit in Jaipur. Before the iftar began, Pilot spent some time with Gehlot and ministers Raghu Sharma, Govind Singh Dotasara, Pratap Singh besides other leaders in his chamber at the party office.
Both Gehlot and Pilot sat together with other leaders at the iftar attended by a large number of people from the Muslim community, MLAs and the party’s office-bearers and members.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala rejected the “misleading news of any differences between Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot”.”The chief minister, in an interview, categorically said that the responsibility of the loss in Rajasthan is both of the organisation and of the government,” he said.
Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot did not begin their work relationship on good terms after the Congress came to power in Rajasthan in December. Mr Pilot was persuaded to give up his claim to the chief minister’s post by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. This was after Mr Gehlot convinced the leadership that he would be able to deliver good results in the Lok Sabha election.(With Agency Inputs ).

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