Jaipur: Days after the massive drubbing Congress suffered in the Lok Sabha polls in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot blamed Pradesh Congress Committee chief and his deputy in the government, Sachin Pilot, for his son Vaibhav Gehlot's defeat from his stronghold, Jodhpur.
In an interview to ABP News on Monday, when asked if it was Pilot who had recommended Vaibhav’s name for the Jodhpur seat, Gehlot said: “It’s a good thing if he (Pilot) says so. This dispels media reports about differences between the two of us. Pilot saab also said that we will win Jodhpur with a huge margin as we have six MLAs (in the LS constituency) and our poll campaign was great. So, I feel he should own responsibility for that seat at least. There should be a complete post-mortem of the Jodhpur seat results to understand why we did not win it.”
Jodhpur has been Ashok Gehlot's stronghold for several years and he was elected five times from the Lok Sabha seat. He had reportedly taken part in over 130 rallies and road shows, 93 of them in Jodhpur alone. His son, however, lost to the BJP, which took 24 of the 25 seats in the state, with one seat going to its ally.
On Monday, while the Rajasthan CM said that everyone has to take responsibility for the defeat as “elections are held under collective leadership", he added in the same breath that it was Pilot who assured him of the win in Jodhpur. “Pilot said that we were winning (from Jodhpur) and that he got the party ticket (for Vaibhav). But we lost all 25 seats. If someone says that the CM or the PCC chief should take responsibility for it, I believe it’s a collective responsibility.”
In his maiden election from the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat, Vaibhav lost to Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by a margin of 2,74,440 votes.
After the poll debacle, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had given Gehlot a tongue-lashing for putting his son above the party.
The state Congress has been struggling with state Congress lately, with several Rajasthan ministers and MLAs demanding that accountability be fixed and action taken for the Lok Sabha poll debacle.
KC Vishnoi, DCC president Hanumagarh, had also lashed out at Gehlot for the poll debacle. "The organisation worked really hard and brought the party to power. But within three months the people got upset with the government, the chief minister should take responsibility. He should have offered to resign," he said.