Rajasthan assembly bypolls: Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot put up show of unity, address rallies together | India News – Times of India

UDAIPUR: In a show of unity ahead of bypolls on Rajasthan’s two assembly seats, chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot and other leaders travelled together and addressed rallies in poll-bound Vallabhnagar and Dhariawad.
Bypolls are to be held on Udaipur’s Vallabhnagar and Pratapgarh’s Dhariawad seats for which the party candidates filed nomination on Friday.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan’s in-charge AICC general secretary Ajay Maken, party’s state chief Govind Singh Dotasra and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot flew together to both the constituencies in a helicopter for the campaign.
They reached Vallabhnagar and addressed a meeting in support of party candidate Preeti Shaktawat, the wife of late MLA Gajendra Shaktawat who died of Covid-19.
Both Gehlot and Pilot, who were at loggerhead last year over the issue of leadership, said in their addresses that all the leaders have unanimously chosen Preeti Shaktawat as the Vallabhnagar candidate.
In the address, the duo sought to convey to the people that the party is united.
Addressing the rally, Gehlot said the Congress party will return to power even in the next assembly elections.
“The party in Rajasthan is united. Sometimes news (contrary to it) is published in newspapers but do not pay heed to what is published in the papers. Sometimes they make stories,” he said.
Gehlot said all the leaders unanimously chose Preeti Shaktawat as the Vallabhnagar candidate. He said the ticket can be given to only one candidate.
The chief minister said the true soldier of the party is the one who respects its decisions and works for it (despite not getting the ticket).
Those who keep patience too get opportunities, he added.
Former deputy CM Pilot also said all the leaders unanimously agreed on the name of Preeti Shaktawat and Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi gave her the ticket.
He said all the leaders have come to Vallabhnagar together.
Maken and Dotasra also addressed the rally.
After Vallabhnagar, they addressed the second rally in Dhariawad in support of the party candidate Nagraj Meena.
Gehlot had recently said in a programme that his government will not only complete a full term of five years but will also get repeated, and he will allot Urban Development and Housing (UDH) Minister Shanti Dhariwal the same portfolio in the next government.
Gehlot, who underwent angioplasty in August, also said he was not going to go anywhere for the next 15-20 years even if it makes someone unhappy.
In a remark which is seen as a rejoinder to the chief minister’s statement, Sachin Pilot on Thursday said he (Pilot) will be here for the next 50 years and will complete unfinished works.
During the launch of a book of journalist Rasheed Kidwai on Thursday evening in Jaipur, organiser Pramod Sharma urged Pilot to write a book and said that if he (Sharma) stayed for long, he would hold a similar programme to launch the book of Pilot.
“Don’t worry, I will be here for 50 years,” Pilot had said in reply.
The comment is being seen as a veiled reply to Gehlot.
It was in July last year that Pilot had revolted against Gehlot, triggering a political crisis in the state. The month-long crisis had ended after the intervention of party leader Rahul Gandhi.
Due to the rebellion, Pilot was removed as the PCC president and deputy CM. Two other ministers were also sacked.
This year, leaders from the Pilot camp started raising voices that the promises made to Pilot by the party high command have not been fulfilled even after one year following which the demand for a Cabinet reshuffle gained momentum.
The Cabinet reshuffle is awaited in the state.
The four leaders had also travelled together in a helicopter and addressed farmers ‘mahapanchayat’ in Bikaner and Chittorgarh in February this year, ahead of the bypolls on four seats.

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