JAIPUR: Rajasthan chief minister
on Wednesday made a scathing attack on his former deputy
, accusing him of conspiring with the
to defeat Congress candidates during the
Rajya Sabha elections
held on June 19. Gehlot claimed he had proof that a Rs 20-crore deal was in the making.
Stopping short of naming him, Gehlot claimed Pilot was directly involved in horse trading of MLAs and the rebellion in
that was being played out for the past three days was originally planned for the RS polls. The CM said some of his party colleagues got “over ambitious” and fell in the BJP trap.
“Consider this — your own deputy CM and PCC chief (posts held by Pilot until Monday) makes a deal, asks for names and mobile numbers of people, is part of the conspiracy and then clarifies that no horse trading took place. How is this possible? What is this clarification about after being part of horse trading?” said Gehlot, reacting to Pilot’s statements to television channels earlier in the day that he never plotted with BJP to try to topple the
“The conspiracy against the government would have played out during the Rajya Sabha polls itself had I not been on the guard. We had to keep our MLAs in a hotel for 10 days (prior to the polls). If we had not done that, what’s happening in Manesar now would have happened then. The same people (Pilot loyalists camping in a Manesar hotel) were to be sent at 2 am,” claimed Gehlot.
The chief minister said leaders who have been in politics for the past 40 years underwent “ragdai” (rigorous grinding) in Youth Congress and NSUI. He said this is the reason they could survive and later got important posts like CMs and Union ministers.
“I had said that he (Pilot) had not gone through that ‘grinding’. It is painful he is unable to understand that he was made a Union minister and PCC chief (at a young age). He would have done well, if he too had gone through the rigours,” said Gehlot.
“It is incorrect to say that we do not respect the younger generation (of politicians). Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ashok Gehlot, all like them. But if the younger politicians promote and take part in horse trading, will it not destroy the country? Can’t the media see that?” asked Gehlot.
“Speaking impeccable English and Hindi, giving interesting bytes (to the media) and having a handsome personality are not enough. What matters is, how you feel for the country, what are your commitments and ideologies. Sone ki chhuri pait mein khan ke liye nahi hoti (A golden knife cannot be digested),” said Gehlot.