The chief minister made the remarks at a press conference at the party headquarters here while answering a question about the BJP delaying the name of the CM nominee for Rajasthan. Gehlot said, “It is the BJP’s internal matter. She (Vasundhara Raje) should not be punished due to me. This would be injustice to her.”
While referring to the 2020 rebellion by his deputy Sachin Pilot, Gehlot mentioned the Vasundhara episode. “I remember an incident where then Chief Minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was abroad for bypass surgery and his Speaker in Rajasthan spoke of toppling the government which I opposed as state Congress chief. I even told then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao that this would not be correct. Recently, when my government was in crisis, an MLA close to Raje met me and said she also holds the same opinion that duly elected governments shouldn’t be toppled, and this is all I said in Dholpur,” Gehlot said defending Raje who has been increasingly sidelined in the BJP amid signals of her closeness to Gehlot.
Raje was in the eye of a storm recently when Gehlot said at a Dholpur rally that she had helped save his government. He also sounded a note of caution to Pilot on the latter’s CM ambitions and said, “In the Congress it is best not to be a CM candidate because the one who is the candidate never becomes CM. We will accept what the high command decides and I have been trusted by the Gandhis. There must be some reason for that,” the Rajasthan CM said. The Congress is yet to announce its Rajasthan candidates, with Gehlot saying all decisions will be taken by consensus.
Polling for the 200 member Rajasthan assembly has been rescheduled to November 25 and counting of votes will take place on December 3.