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Rajasthan polls: 'AICC leadership will decide on CM after we win,' says Pilot

New Delhi: Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Thursday said the collective objective of party leaders in the state is to work unitedly to win the upcoming assembly polls and the high command would take a decision on who would lead the government.

His remarks at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here came in response to a question about his bete noire Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot saying last week that he wants to leave the chief minister’s post but it is not leaving him and probably may not leave him in future too. Gehlot and Pilot have had a long-running power tussle between them.

Asked about Gehlot’s remarks, Pilot said, ‘What is there to react on this? What he said would have been on the basis of his experience of decades. Our collective objective is to fight the elections unitedly and that the Congress wins.’

‘After the party wins, the AICC leadership will speak with the MLAs that are victorious and whatever decision will be taken will be acceptable to all,’ the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister said.

‘And I am not just talking about Rajasthan, this has been the tradition of the Congress in all states. There has been a convention that after securing a majority, all MLAs sit and the leader of the legislative party is appointed as per a procedure. The high command and our victorious MLAs decide who the leader would be,’ he added.

On him standing with Gehlot amid the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoning his son Vaibhav and raiding premises of Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra, Pilot said it is not about an individual but about institutions and democracy.

‘The way it has become the new normal that action (by agencies) would be taken, people would make noise and then forget about it… this is not right for our institutions and democracy. This has become a tradition in the last five years,’ he said.

‘Nobody knows what the future holds for us. We learn from the past but we do not know what the future is. Right now, we are focused on winning the elections and what role would be given to whom would be decided later,’ he said in response to another question.

Asked about the legislature party meeting that could not take place last year, Pilot said it should be analysed but asserted that it is in the past and ‘we have to look forward’.

‘If we win the polls in five states, the INDIA bloc will form the government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls,’ he claimed.

It is very important to win this state for the party and for the country, Pilot added.

On Gehlot’s ‘forgive and forget’ comment, Pilot said, ‘I had been told by Kharge ji when I met him about seven months ago that we have to fight the elections unitedly and no one can win the elections single-handedly. Polls are fought collectively by the organisation. He had told me, ‘Sachin we have to move forward, so forget the past, forget whatever has happened and let us move forward’.’ ‘I have moved forward on that line and it is the need of the hour that we move forward,’ he said.

Rajasthan polls will be held on November 25 and votes will be counted on December 3.

(Published 26 October 2023, 16:14 IST)

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