Congress's Sachin Pilot today brushed off Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's remarks on his rebellion of 2020 that had brought the state government on the verge of collapse. Mr Gehlot's fire was mostly directed at the BJP's Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat -- in connection to his alleged efforts to scuttle the government – but Mr Pilot's name came up too.
Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Mr Gehlot had said, was "hand-in-glove" with Sachin Pilot during the revolt by Congress MLAs against his government two years ago.
Asked about the matter today, Mr Pilot said he has not taken offence.
"Earlier also, Ashok Gehlot had said many things about me like 'Nakara', 'Nikamma' (useless, idle),"Mr Pilot told reporters in Rajasthan's Tonk, where he had gone to Take part in a protest against the Centre's Agnipath scheme. "He (Ashok Gehlot) is an experienced, senior person, a father figure so I do not take offence... Right now my focus is to bring back our government in the state," added Mr Pilot.
Talking about a court notice to Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in a case of horse-trading allegations, Mr Gehlot said on Saturday, "You yourself conspired to topple the government. Now that you are taking the name of Sachin Pilot ji, that he erred, which proves it further, you yourself put the stamp on the fact that you were hand-in-glove with him".
Mr Pilot played down the issue earlier too, saying that Rahul Gandhi has recently praised his level of patience.
"A few days back, Rahul Gandhi while addressing an event in Delhi, had praised my patience level. If a leader like Rahul is appreciating my patience level then I think no one should unnecessarily get disturbed by his (Ashok Gehlot's) statement and take it in a right spirit," Mr Pilot had said.
Seen to be behind the party's revival in Rajasthan after five years of BJP rule, Mr Pilot was a contender for the Chief Minister's post after the party's victory in the 2018 assembly polls. But he was persuaded by Rahul Gandhi to take the job of Ashok Gehlot's deputy. His friction with Mr Gehlot started since, which Mr Pilot played down.
Matters came to a head in 2020 when Mr Pilot rebelled, camping out in Delhi with 18 supporters who insisted on a bigger role for him in the government. The bitter stand-off was resolved after more than month, after meetings with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.