Published On: Fri, Oct 20th, 2023

Ashok Gehlot to BJP: Don’t punish Vasundhara Raje because of me

New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday took a swipe at the BJP, saying it should not “punish” his predecessor Vasundhara Raje because of him, as he recalled his remarks highlighting her positive role in not supporting the bid to topple his government in 2020.

This was an internal matter of the saffron party and he would not like to comment on it

In May, Gehlot had said in Dholpur that he survived the rebellion by Congress MLAs in 2020 because BJP leaders Raje and Kailash Meghwal did not support a “conspiracy to topple” his government through money power.

Asked about the alleged sidelining of Raje in the BJP, Gehlot said at a press conference that this was an internal matter of the saffron party and he would not like to comment on it.

“But I would like to state that she should not be punished because of me. This would be injustice to her,” he said.

“I would like to narrate an incident when my government was facing a crisis…When I was Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president, the then CM Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was abroad in the US for bypass surgery and his own people were looking to topple his government. As state Congress chief, I opposed this and said that this was not appropriate,” Gehlot said.

He said he had even told the then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao and then governor Bali Ram Bhagat this would not be correct.

“Kailash Meghwal knew about this and when there was a crisis with our government, he said that there is no tradition of toppling governments like this. I keep meeting MLAs aligned to Vasundhara Raje ji and I knew about her remarks and it slipped out of my mouth at a public meeting that she held the same opinion that Kailash Meghwal did,” Gehlot said.

After his Dholpur remarks, Raje had targeted Gehlot, saying there was no goodwill in his praise but “only malice”.

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