I have not asked for any position
THE WEEK|August 23, 2020
I have not asked for any position
Congress leader Sachin Pilot is back in Jaipur after a month-long standoff with his bête noire, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
SONI MISHRA

As the uneasy truce plays out, Pilot told THE WEEK that the main issue he raised with the party leadership in Delhi was about Gehlot’s non-inclusive style of functioning. He said he had not wanted to be deputy CM and was keen on working outside the government as he had anticipated that the arrangement might not work out well. Pilot also addressed allegations of colluding with the BJP and his choice of lawyers to fight the case. Edited excerpts from the interview:

In the one month you stayed away from Jaipur, you were accused of putting your own government in peril.

I was served a notice by the Special Operations Group of the Rajasthan Police under the sedition charge. We took the issue to Delhi to make the leadership understand what is going on in the government. The very next day, some coercive actions were taken, including expulsion of ministers, suspension of MLAs, FIRs being registered and notices issued by the speaker. All this was not required because having a difference of opinion with the chief minister is not anti-party and certainly not anti-national.

Finally, I stand vindicated. We did not utter a single word against the party or our own government. When Priyankaji (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) and Rahulji (Rahul Gandhi) met me, we had a threadbare, frank discussion for two to three hours.

What made you finally sit down with senior Congress leaders and work out a resolution?

Channels for talks were open. But on the one hand, you are discussing issues and on the other hand, you are suspending and expelling MLAs, filing cases and serving notices. The actions were not consistent with what was being said.

How will you reconcile with the harsh words used by Gehlot against you?

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August 23, 2020