Gehlot-Pilot tussle: Congress won’t shy away from taking ‘tough decisions’ to strengthen organisation, says Jairam Ramesh

    Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. File.

    Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. File.
    | Photo Credit: PTI

    Amid the power tussle between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said if needed, the party will not shy away from taking “tough decisions” to strengthen the organisation in that State.

    For the Congress, its organisation in Rajasthan is most important, Mr. Ramesh, the party’s general secretary in-charge of communications, told reporters in Indore during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

    Mr. Gehlot on Thursday told the NDTV channel that Mr. Pilot is a ‘gaddar’ (traitor) and cannot replace him, drawing a sharp response from his former deputy who said such “mud-slinging” would not help, in an escalation of their rift days ahead of the entry of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ into the desert State.

    Mr. Gehlot also said Mr. Pilot had revolted against the Congress in 2020 and alleged that he tried to topple the State government.

    Mr. Pilot had hit back at Gehlot to say it was unbecoming of his stature to use the kind of language to attack him and make completely “false and baseless” allegations.

    Asked about the tussle between Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot, Mr. Ramesh on Sunday said, “The organisation is most important for us. On the issue of Rajasthan, we will decide on a solution which will strengthen our organisation.”

    “For this, if we have to take tough decisions, we will take. If a compromise has to be made (between the factions of Gehlot and Pilot), then it will be done,” he said.

    Mr. Ramesh also said the Congress leadership is considering a proper solution to the Rajasthan issue.

    “But, I cannot fix any time frame for this solution. Only the Congress leadership will decide the time frame for it,” he said.

    Mr. Ramesh further said the Congress needs both Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot.

    He also said the Rajasthan CM should not have used certain words in his interview.

    Speaking on the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra, Ramesh said like other States, it would also be successful in Rajasthan.

    The foot march, a mass contact initiative of the Congress, started from September 7 at Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.

    It is currently underway in Madhya Pradesh. On December 4, the yatra will enter Rajasthan, where the Assembly elections are due next year.

    On the Bharatiya Janata Party’s promise of the implementation of Uniform Civil Code in its manifesto for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls, Ramesh said, “The debate on the UCC should continue inside and outside Parliament.” “But, the BJP deliberately raises divisive issues during elections to polarise votes,” he alleged.

    Mr. Ramesh said the BJP has raised the issue of UCC to gain in the Gujarat Assembly elections, scheduled on December 1 and 5.

    “They (BJP) will forget the issue after the elections,” he claimed.

    The main contest in Gujarat is between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, Mr. Ramesh asserted and claimed the Aam Aadmi Party’s “balloon” will burst after the results are declared.

    “The media has inflated this balloon. The AAP does not seem strong at the grassroot level in Gujarat,” he further claimed.

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