CM Ashok Gehlot urged the BJP not to punish former CM Vasundhara Raje for refusing to support an alleged conspiracy to topple the Cong-led govt in the state.
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should not “punish” former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje over her refusal to support an alleged conspiracy to topple the Congress-led government in the state in 2020, chief minister Ashok Gehlot said on Thursday.
The senior Congress leader also said that he and his former deputy, Sachin Pilot, are “united”, and ruled out any rift in the party over ticket distribution for next month’s assembly elections.
The chief minister was addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters in the national capital when he was asked about the alleged sidelining of Raje in the BJP.
Calling it an “internal matter” of the BJP, Gehlot said: “I would not like to comment on it. But I would like to say that she should not be punished because of me. It would be injustice to her.”
HT had reported earlier that Raje’s supporters have raised concerns over alleged attempts of the state BJP leadership to “sideline her”. In January, the former chief minister’s supporters had floated the Vasundhara Raje Samarth Manch Rajasthan, demanding that she be named as chief ministerial candidate for next year’s polls.
At the press conference, Gehlot went on to recall his remarks he made in May in Dholpur, that he survived a rebellion by Congress MLAs in 2020 because BJP leaders Raje and Kailash Meghwal (now suspended) did not support a “conspiracy to topple” his government through money power.
The rebellion, in July 2020, was triggered by 22 MLAs, led by then deputy chief minister Pilot. He and the legislators eventually returned to the fold.