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Rajasthan Congress Crisis

On Sunday, Sachin Pilot launched a vicious attack on Ashok Gehlot, accusing him of ignoring corruption allegations involving the previous BJP-led Vasundhara Raje administration and announcing a daylong protest to demand that these issues be resolved. The Congress high leadership emphasized the value of a cohesive state unit in a statement and announced that the party would seek a mandate in Rajasthan later this year based on the “landmark successes” of the Gehlot administration and the “common efforts of our organization.” Neither Pilot nor his charges were mentioned in the statement.

The former Deputy CM aired video excerpts of Gehlot’s remarks about the “BJP’s corruption” while speaking to a press conference at his Jaipur home, claiming he was particularly “worried” about the absence of action in these cases. Pilot said that he had written Gehlot two letters last year but had not heard back, calling the lack of action “vichitra” (bizarre). Moreover, Pilot implied frequently that Gehlot must take immediate action in the corruption cases in order to “destroy this perception” of critics that he and Raje are conspiring.

Pilot called a day-long dharna at Jaipur’s Shaheed Smarak on April 11 to coincide with the birth anniversary of social reformer Jyotirao Phule in order to demand action in the corruption charges. “Corruption is a problem that the general public cares about and is a significant step toward changing society. Therefore, the motivation to observe Jyotirao Phule’s Jayanti with a protest sit-in. I’ve let the district administration know,” he declared.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in charge of communications Jairam Ramesh issued a statement saying, “The Congress government in Rajasthan with Shri Ashok Gehlot as CM has implemented a large number of schemes and taken many new initiatives that have had a profound impact on the people, despite neither Gehlot nor Raje responding to the allegations. As a result, the state now controls the governance of our nation. The passion and tenacity of the party organization in the state allowed the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan to be an extraordinary success. On the basis of these historic accomplishments and the group efforts of our organization, the Congress will ask the people for a fresh mandate later in the year.

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