As the Congress deals with a fresh controversy over Ashok Gehlot’s “gaddar (traitor)” remark against Sachin Pilot, the grand old party continues its campaign in Gujarat, which is gearing up to vote in a few days. The Rajasthan Chief Minister on Saturday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as his party tries to settle internal differences in one of the last held states amid the election season.
“What is the need for PM Modi to visit Gujarat repeatedly when his name is enough? It is because the BJP is scared now…,” Gehlot was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “If the BJP loses Gujarat elections, the reason behind it will be high inflation and unemployment,” he added.
His comments came a day before the Prime Minister was due to address three back-to-back election rallies in the poll-bound state. PM Modi has addressed multiple poll rallies in his home state – where the BJP has been ruling for 27 years – since last week. The Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress are pitching themselves as the chief challengers.
But the grand old party’s fresh troubles have taken away the spotlight from its poll promises and preparations in Delhi, where civic polls will be held on December 4, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. The party is also carrying out a Kanyakumari to Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is being led by Rahul Gandhi, with an aim to revive the electoral base.
The controversy was triggered when earlier this week, Gehlot, while speaking to NDTV, called his former deputy – Sachin Pilot – a “gaddar”. “If Pilot had apologised, there would have been no revolt against him. The 90 MLAs’ revolt was against Pilot. And after many of our ministers had said also that cannot accept gaddar, traitor…,” Gehlot had said while talking about the September crisis the party faced when many of his supporters threatened to quit over the speculation that Pilot may succeed Gehlot if he was picked as the Congress chief.
The comment had drawn strong pushback not just from Pilot but others in the party too.
Gujarat is due to vote in two phases for the assembly polls on December 1 and December 5; votes will be counted on December 8.
(With inputs from ANI)