This photo reveals Gehlot's charges against arch-rival Sachin Pilot

Ashok Gehlot
Ashok Gehlot holds a sheet containing 'charges' against Sachin Pilot during his visit to Sonia Gandhi. Photo: J Suresh/Manorama

New Delhi: Amid a high political drama in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot literally carried a ‘note’ up his sleeve against Sachin Pilot when he arrived at Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence here on Thursday.

A photo taken by Malayala Manorama Chief Photographer J. Suresh, showing Gehlot carrying a piece of paper in which he had jolted down the points of his “case” to be raised against his political nemesis just before meeting the Congress chief has since gone viral.

The note, in fact, included severe allegations against Sachin Pilot, whom he referred to in it as 'SP.'

One could easily make out a few of the "points" in the handwritten note against Sachin being considered for the chief minister post. Gehlot claimed he enjoyed the “support of 102 MLAs as against 18 by Sachin” and that there was every chance of the younger Congress leader “quitting the party for political gains."

The severe allegations further charged that Sachin had attempted to “overthrow" the Congress government in the state in his capacity as the PCC president. For this, the BJP had tried to wean away MLAs offering 10 to 50 crore, the note 'revealed.'

Gehlot, who conveyed to Sonia Gandhi his unwillingness to hand over the chief ministership to Sachin, announced his withdrawal from the Congress presidential race while coming out of the one-and-a-half hour-long meeting. He was already out of the race for the party presidential post after he refused to yield to the demands of the leadership to make way for his bete noire to helm the state.

Meanwhile, Congress might offer Sachin Pilot a prominent place in the national leadership, given his dim chances of making it to the chief ministership chair. According to party sources, the high command is set to take action to save the face of the son of former leader Rajesh Pilot, who had served as a minister in the UPA government before his death in a road mishap in 2000.

Sachin Pilot with Ashok Gehlot
Sachin Pilot with Ashok Gehlot

Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi expressed her strong displeasure against Gehlot’s stance. She made it clear that the party would follow the 'One-person, one-post policy that it adopted after the Udaipur 'Chintan Shivir.' She said that Gehlot could contest the Congress Presidential post only if he handed over the chief ministerial post to Sachin. Party general secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal took part in the discussions. Gehlot, during the meet, pointed out that the government will fall if Sachin, who enjoys the support of only a few MLAs, is made the chief minister.

With Gehlot refusing to step down from the chief minister’s post, the attempts of the Gandhi family to bring Sachin to the helm of affairs at the state turned futile. The ‘Rajasthan episode’ also witnessed the rare instance of a state leader overturning the decision of the Gandhi family.


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