Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

No End To Rajasthan Congress Infighting As Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot Loyalists Engage In Mudslinging

No End To Rajasthan Congress Infighting As Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot Loyalists Engage In Mudslinging

Rajasthan Congress MLA Dharmendra Rathore accused Ved Prakash Solanki of trading Congress members during Zila Parishad elections in 2021

Sachin Pilot
Sachin Pilot PTI

The rift within the Rajasthan Congress further came to the fore as one of its leaders Dharmendra Rathore on Thursday claimed at a press conference that MLA Ved Prakash Solanki, a Sachin Pilot loyalist, met BJP state president Satish Poonia in a hotel. Referring to Solanki as a ‘traitor’, Rathore said, “I will provide proof on who is a traitor and who is loyal. It will come before everyone. Solanki had met BJP president Satish Poonia at a hotel during zila parishad election.”

Considered close to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Rathore was served notice by the high command for being involved in a parallel meeting held by CM Gehlot loyalists, opposing the possibility of elevation of Sachin Pilot as CM.

Rathore, who is also the chairperson of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, showed a video of Solanki and Poonia purportedly entering a hotel and exiting a hotel room one after the other. Rathore accused Solanki of trading Congress members during last zila parishad elections in 2021 where Congress took lead but performed less than expected.

Speaking at the same press conference, Cabinet Minister Govind Ram Meghwal, who was in-charge for zila parishad elections in 2021, said that he had also complained about MLA Solanki harming the party but Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken did not act on it.

Meghwal, the Disaster Management and Relief Minister, noted that due to Solanki’s betrayal the party could not win the Zila Pramukh seat of Jaipur.

Solanki’s Earlier Attack on Rathore

Solanki had earlier called Rathore a “broker” between the Congress and the BJP. "Who Dharmendra? Dharmendra Rathore is a registered broker between the BJP and the Congress. Everyone knows how he acts as a broker between the Congress and BJP," Solanki had said.

However, in the context of recent crisis, expressing his faith with the top most leadership of the party Solanki said, “We are with the high command. Who is honest, who is a liar, who is a traitor, who is what... everyone knows. Talking about Dharmendra Rathore is wasting time."

According to media reports, Sachin Pilot earlier met the Congress high command and apprised them of the condition in his camp.

Other fights within the State Party

Not only Solanki and Rathore are now engaged in mudslinging, there are others as well who have been fighting since the current crisis emerged.

Dausa MLA Murari Lal Meena targeted health minister Parsadi Lal Meena, accusing him of using unparliamentary language for the MLAs who sided with the then deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot in 2020 when he rebelled against Gehlot.

Lamenting the ‘traitor’ comment, Dausa MLA said, “The way ‘traitor’ and unparliamentary language is being used for us, it is bad.” He added that the MLAs with Pilot stayed in Delhi for a month in 2020, but did not say a single word about the Congress high command.

In a bid to remove the contention that Pilot-loyalists can join BJP, he said, “We can sit at home, but cannot go with the BJP. We are sad that the word traitor is being used for us, but now it should be told who is betraying the high command?”.

Loyalists ready to fight mid-term election if needed

Murari Lal Meena also made it clear that they are ready to fight mid-term elections if there is necessity. Pilot loyalists till now have been maintaining a silence over the political developments in the state, triggered by the summoning of the Congress Legislature Party’s meeting to discuss a successor to Gehlot in the state.

On the other hand, Parsadi Lal Meena, the known Pilot-baiter on Wednesday said that Rajasthan MLAs can fight the election if the assembly is dissolved, but cannot accept Sachin Pilot as the Chief Minister. “The man who stayed at Amit Shah's residence and sat in BJP’s lap, cannot be tolerated as CM,” he said.

“It would be better if we resign and be ready to contest elections a year earlier than making such a person the CM," said Parsadi Lal Meena.

(With PTI Inputs)