Rifts in the Rajasthan Congress resurfaced Tuesday with two party leaders criticising Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for suggesting that state unit president Sachin Pilot should take responsibility for his son Vaibhav Gehlot's election defeat.
"The statement by the chief minister is totally wrong and against the interest of the party. He himself should take responsibility for the Jodhpur seat," Congress MLA Prithviraj Meena said.
In a television interview Monday, the chief minister had said Sachin Pilot should bear responsibility for the Congress loss in Jodhpur as he got Vaibhav Gehlot the party ticket from there.
Mr Meena said the CM seemed "obsessed" with his son.
On the back foot after Monday's interview, the CM said the media was making an "unnecessary issue" out of it.
Reacting to Mr Gehlot's earlier comments, Rajendra Chaudhary, a Congress leader from Jodhpur, said Mr Gehlot's word was final in decisions regarding that constituency.
"The statement is surprising. Gehlot should take the responsibility for the Jodhpur seat because it has been his domain for 40 years," he said.
"He should take the responsibly as he was made the CM to ensure the Congress Party's win in Rajasthan," Mr Chaudhary added.
Sachin Pilot, who is also the deputy chief minister of the state, refused to comment.
In the interview, Mr Gehlot said Mr Pilot had assured a win by big margin for his son.
"We have six MLAs there. We carried out a fantastic campaign. I understand that Pilot sahab should at least take the responsibility of the seat. A complete post-mortem should be done for the Jodhpur seat," he said.
Mr Gehlot had claimed that there were no differences between him and Mr Pilot.
"Confusion is being created in the media that there are differences between the state Congress chief and the CM. But if Pilot says that he had promised a ticket to Vaibhav from Jodhpur, then where are the differences between us?" the CM added.
When asked whether Mr Pilot was responsible for the loss in Jodhpur, he said, "He had said that we will win. When we lost all 25 seats, it is a collective responsibility. The way the party lost is beyond understanding."
Responding on Twitter to the controversy, the CM said, "This was a reply to some questions during the interview. Some sections of the media are making unnecessary issue out of the context."
He shared a clipping of the interview on his Twitter account Tuesday.
Vaibhav Gehlot had lost to BJP's Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by a margin of 2.74 lakh votes.
After the Lok Sabha results, Mr Gehlot faced criticism that he focused more on his son, ignoring other seats.
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