Gehlot, Pilot hold hands, say ‘we are united’

Ashok Gehlot

In a rare show of ‘unity’, the warring Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Tuesday appeared together in public. The feuding leaders hold each other’s hands and stressed that Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which enters Rajasthan on 4 December, will be a big success in the state.
“The party is supreme for us. We want the party to forge ahead and regain its glory,” Gehlot  told reporters. «There is an atmosphere of tension in the country and it is a huge challenge. But the success of the yatra shows that people fully support the issues raised by Rahul Gandhi.»
The party General Secretary KC Venugopal also reiterated Rahul Gandhi’s statement describing both Gehlot and Pilot are “assets to the party”, while trying to send a message that party is supreme and the state leaders are united to win the 2023 Assembly elections.
As the rivals stood next to each other holding hands to present the optics days after Ashok Gehlot called Sachin Pilot a traitor, the party sought to send out a message of resolving the ongoing crisis.
“We are united. Here Ashok Ji and Sachin Pilot Ji have said that the Congress party in Rajasthan is united. Rahul Gandhi has clearly stated that both Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot are assets to the party,” Venugopal said.
Sachin Pilot, whose alleged revolt had triggered the crisis in the state Congress, said that the state is all set to welcome the Bharat Jodo Yatra which will enter the state on 5 December. “Bharat Jodo Yatra with Rahul Gandhi will be welcomed with maximum enthusiasm and energy in Rajasthan. The Yatra will spend 12 days in the state. It will be a historic Yatra with the participation of all sections of people,” Pilot said.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the message of the top leadership in Congress goes to the grassroots prompting the leaders to work together. “Rahul Gandhi said yesterday that Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot are assets to the party. It is a speciality of our party that when the message comes from the leader, it goes down till the bottom and we work together for the betterment of the party,” Gehlot said.
Acknowledging the challenge of the 2023 Assembly elections in Rajasthan, the Chief Minister said that it is essential for the party to win elections, adding that the DNA of Congress and the country is same. “We have the challenge of the 2023 Assembly elections in Rajasthan. It is essential for us to win the elections, it is for the country’s welfare. If Congress is strong, only then the future of the country will be strong because the challenge that is before the country for which Indira Gandhi gave up her life, and Rajiv Gandhi was killed attempting to establish peace. Congress and the country have one DNA,” Gehlot said.
The remarks of the Congress General Secretary came during his visit to Rajasthan to review the Bharat Jodo Yatra preparedness. According to the sources, Venugopal held a meeting of all the state leaders of the party in the State Congress Committee War Room in Jaipur. “He instructed everyone to remain disciplined,” sources said.
The Chief Minister lauded Rahul Gandhi and Bharat Jodo Yatra and said that the country has accepted the former Congress president’s message during the march.
“The BJP is so worried that they are levelling allegations on the Yatra, and also putting pressure on the media. The way Rahul Gandhi has led the march and the message that he is giving, there is a new ray of hope in the country. The country has accepted the issues that Rahul Gandhi has raised. There can be surprising results in Gujarat,” he said.