“Inflation Only Focus”: Ashok Gehlot Sidesteps Questions On Sachin Pilot
Jaipur:Ignoring every question of his opposition to his bitter rival Sachin Pilot and the Rajasthan government, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot today said he will focus on providing relief to people from inflation and will not be distracted.
“Our aim is to bring down inflation. This is our only focus and we are not going to deviate from that,” Mr Gehlot said yesterday in response to a dharna by his former vice-chairman, Mr Pilot.
Speaking to reporters at his home, Mr Gehlot dismissed allegations of inaction on corruption cases. Rajasthan ACP has raided many corrupt officials, which has not happened anywhere else in the country.
“Rajasthan has a good record of action against corruption. We have also acted against IAS and IPS officers. If I take action on every complaint of ACP (Anti-Corruption Cell), the negative thinkers will see corruption rampant in the state. The chief minister told the media a day after Mr Pilot’s hunger strike against corruption.
In a development that exposed the fault lines in the state Congress months before the assembly elections, Mr Pilot went on a one-day fast demanding action against the Congress government against alleged corruption in the previous BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje.
The Congress leader’s fast was in defiance of the party high command, which said it was “anti-party” and such issues should be discussed in party forums and not in public.
At the end of the dharna, Mr Pilot said the Congress and other opposition parties were united against corruption and that his fast would accelerate this “movement”. He said that he had written to Mr Gehlot twice and had received no reply.
“We promised people that effective action would be taken against the corruption of the previous BJP government. I wanted the Congress government to take action, but it has not happened for four years,” he said. In his dharna, the Congress logo and pictures of its leaders were conspicuously missing.
Earlier, Mr Pilot had said that the government should take immediate action against corruption. “With six to seven months to go to the polls, the opposition can spread an illusion that some conspiracy is afoot. So, we need to act quickly so that Congress workers feel that there is no difference between our words and deeds.” He had said.
We cannot go to the polls without fulfilling these promises. We have proof. Should have taken action. An investigation should be conducted. We are going to the elections. Election Code of Conduct will come into effect soon. We are answerable to the people. Mr Pilot had said.
Mr Pilot’s move is the latest in a power struggle between him and Mr Gehlot. A political tug-of-war threatened to topple the Congress government in 2020 when Mr Pilot, then Deputy Chief Minister, along with 20 other MLAs visited a resort near Delhi. He said he had been promised the post of chief minister at the end of his five-year tenure and demanded that he keep his promise.
However, the struggle was abandoned as he lacked support to topple the government. He was subsequently removed from the post of Deputy Chief Minister and State Congress President.
Mr Gehlot has been calling Mr Pilot a “traitor” and “nikamma (useless)” from time to time.