Amid Trouble With Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot Slams Jyotiraditya Scindia

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who flew 17 loyalist MLAs to Bengaluru last evening, was expelled from Congress today.

Amid Trouble With Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot Slams Jyotiraditya Scindia

Ashok Gehlot said Jyotiraditya Scindia has betrayed the trust of the people (File)

Highlights

  • Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress today
  • He is expected to join BJP and be rewarded with a seat in Rajya Sabha
  • Ashok Gehlot dubbed him as a "decadent leader"
New Delhi:

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot ripped into Jyotiraditya Scindia on Twitter today, saying he betrayed the "trust of the people and the ideology" and dubbed him as a leader with "self-indulgent political ambitions".  Jyotiraditya Scindia, who flew 17 loyalist MLAs to Bengaluru last evening, was expelled from the party today, several hours after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

He is expected to join the BJP sometime this week and is likely to be rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat and a berth in the union cabinet.

In a series of tweets, Mr Gehlot said, "Joining hands with BJP in a time of national crisis speaks volumes about a leaders self-indulgent political ambitions. Especially when the BJP ruining the economy, democratic institutions, social fabric and as well the Judiciary."

The 49-year-old former MP had sent in his resignation to the Congress yesterday, in which he said, "This is the path that has been drawing itself out over the last one year." 

The indication was to the party central leadership's move to opt for Kamal Nath for the top posts in the party and the government. Mr Scindia, who made it clear that he played a substantial role in the victory in the assembly polls, was not offered any key position. When the Lok Sabha polls rolled along, he was given the task of rebuilding the party from the grassroots level in Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress has been out of power for decades.

Mr Gehlot should have been more magnanimous than to attack Jyotiraditya Scindia, argued senior Congress leaders close to his deputy, Sachin Pilot.

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After the party's victory in the election, Mr Pilot had signalled that his role to play in the party's victory deserves a big reward. But Rahul Gandhi had persuaded him to give up his claim for the Chief Minister's post after Mr Gehlot convinced the leadership that he would be able to deliver good results in the Lok Sabha election.

Mr Pilot was named Mr Gehlot's deputy, but the two did not begin their work leadership on good terms. The leadership tussle broke out again after the Lok Sabha polls, when the Congress failed to win a single seat in the state.

Sachin Pilot called for accountability and his loyalists called for a change in leadership. Now with Jyotiraditya Scindia's exit from the Congress and the Kamal Nath government teetering on the edge of collapse, all eyes are on Rajasthan.

Sources in the party, however, said there is no immediate threat to the Ashok Gehlot's government. The BJP, they said, would need the support of a chunk of MLAs to topple the government and argued that PM Modi and Amit Shah do not want Vasundhara Raje Scindia back as the Chief Minister.