Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the Bharat Jodo Yatra and is now in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, accused the BJP of spending “thousands of crores” to ruin his image but asserted that the move would fail because he was backed by the “truth.”
“BJP spent thousands of crores of rupees to spoil my image. They created a certain image of me. People think it is harmful… but it is beneficial for me because the truth is with me.”
“Personal attacks on me tell me that I’m going in the right direction,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi chose a diplomatic response to the bitter feud in Rajasthan between chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot, who attempted an unsuccessful coup against his boss in 2020. He referred to both as “assets” of the Congress and insisted that the yatra, which is scheduled to enter Rajasthan on Saturday, would not be impacted by their bitter dispute.
The Congress will hold an Assembly election in Rajasthan, one of the few states the party still governs, the following year as India heads toward a crucial general election in 2024.
In at least two separate instances, as well as during the party’s presidential election last month, the feud between Gehlot and Pilot has threatened the continuity of the Congress’ rule in Rajasthan. Gehlot was the party’s unofficial nominee but withdrew when it became clear that he would have to cede the CM post to his arch-rival.
Gehlot, who had received harsh criticism from Pilot for what he claimed was his involvement in fomenting uprisings against the party’s central leadership on this issue, retaliated last week by branding his younger colleague a “gaddar,” or traitor.
Gandhi oversaw the yatra that travelled from Indore to Ujjain on Monday. Gandhi momentarily rode a bicycle as the march left Indore’s Bada Ganpati square in the morning. Satlaj Rahat, the famed Urdu poet Rahat Indori’s son, joined him on this marching leg and gave Gandhi literature, including an autobiography, that were dedicated to his late father.