Pilot group says its fight is for 'self-respect'
NEW DELHI, Aug 4: The rebel Congress group in Rajasthan on Tuesday reacted sharply to the Congress putting onus on it for a dialogue, asserting that none of them have spoken against the top Congress leadership or the party as they are only fighting for "self-respect" and against the "dictatorial" working style of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot as they cannot any longer work under him.
They were reacting to the party's national chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala telling them through the media that they should give up the hospitality of the BJP and the security of the Haryana police if they want to hold a dialogue with the party. On Saturday, Gehlot had said that he has no issues with the rebels if they apologise to the party high command as he would abide by whatever the leadership decides. He said let Pilot stop colluding with the BJP to bring down his government which he failed to do so miserably.
The reaction of the Pilot group game from three rebel mlas, led by Hemaram Chaudhary, a 6-term MLA, who said: "We are true soldiers of the Congress and our fight is not against the party, but we cannot work under Gehlot's leadership." He said the chief minister himself has stated that he was not on talking terms with the deputy chief minister, so it is for all to see what kind of a government he was running and who is adamant.
Chaudhary said: "The continuous public humiliation of our leader (Pilot), sidelining of those close to him, constantly hampering work of the deputy chief minister and depriving him of authority has led to this situation. The standoff is not the outcome of any single event, but result of one and a half years of 'humiliation and systematic marginalisation' of Pilot within the Gehlot government."