Home International ‘…bitterness in heart’: PM Modi’s stinging jibe at Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot

‘…bitterness in heart’: PM Modi’s stinging jibe at Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot


Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an election rally in Rajasthan’s Nagaur on November 18, slammed Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot over their strenuous relationship in the past.

Modi, in a stinging jibe against the two Congress leaders, said they appear to have buried their differences before the camera, but “bitterness in their hearts” continues to prevail.

Modi alleged that Gehlot spent a significant amount of time in trying to save his chair, while the “Delhi durbar” – an apparent reference to the Congress high command – was trying to topple his seat.

“The CM was busy handling the Delhi durbar while people of Rajasthan were left on their own. Now as the elections are coming they are getting clicked together — but halfheartedly,” the Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

Modi compared the reconciliation between Gehlot and Pilot with a story of a woman who invited everyone to their house on the occasion of her husband quitting smoking cigarettes for the 100th time.

“Everyone was surprised as to what this century event was. The woman told than that her husband would quit smoking for the 100th time that day. Her husband had quit smoking for the 99th time before,” Modi said.

“The same story is going on here. There have been 100 occasions in which they (Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot) shook their hands in front of the cameras when big leaders came from Delhi, but there has been no unity. With bitterness in heart, they are just displaying fake unity,” he added.

Notably, Pilot had led a brief rebellion against Gehlot in July 2020. He was subsequently removed as the deputy chief minister and Congress’ state unit president. Months later, however, Pilot returned to the party fold along with his loyalist MLAs.

The intra-party tensions came to the fore again last year, after reports claimed that Gehlot was being asked to resign and take over as the party’s national president. In September 2022, a bulk of the Congress MLAs threatened to resign enmasse if Gehlot was to be replaced as the chief minister with Pilot.

The two leaders agreed to work together in the run-up to the upcoming Assembly elections.

The 200 seats of Rajasthan will be contested in a single-phase election on November 25. The counting of votes has been scheduled by the Election Commission on December 3.

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Updated: 18 Nov 2023, 09:13 PM IST

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