‘Nikamma, nakara’: Ashok Gehlot rips into Sachin Pilot

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‘Nikamma, nakara’: Ashok Gehlot rips into Sachin Pilot


JAIPUR: Launching into his former deputy for the second time in three days – this time minus the offer of a conciliatory “hug” –

Rajasthan

CM

Ashok Gehlot

on Monday called

Sachin Pilot

a “nikkama-nakara (idle and worthless)” who would go down in Congress history as the first PCC president to be allegedly involved in toppling his own government in collusion with the opposition.

Gehlot claimed that some Mumbai-based corporate houses were funding Pilot’s legal battle against the disqualification notice served on him by the Speaker because he shares a rapport with them since the time he was Union minister of corporate affairs in the erstwhile UPA government.

“Harish Salve, who is representing him in the high court, is a counsel for corporate houses,” the CM told reporters. “The fees Salve and (lawyer) Mukul Rohatgi charge would be Rs 40-50 lakh a hearing. Where is this money coming from? Is Pilot paying? No, the corporate houses are spending to please PM

Narendra Modi

by toppling the state government.”

Gehlot said the same corporate houses had also “sponsored” Pilot when he “dreamt of becoming the AICC president”. He did not elaborate.

The no-holds-barred attack on Pilot came amid reports that a section of Congress was trying to get the sacked deputy CM to back down from the revolt that has triggered allegations of horse-trading and phone tapping, inquiries by the Special Operations Group and Anti-Corruption Bureau, and a court case.

But party sources said Gehlot was determined to take his running feud with Pilot to a logical conclusion. “Nobody used to believe me when I said a conspiracy was going on to topple the state government. None suspected this man (Pilot) can do such a thing,” the CM said.

“With an innocent face and good command over Hindi-English, he mesmerised the media across the country that thinks he worked hard and brought Congress to power in Rajasthan. People here know the truth about how much he contributed. We knew nothing was happening (in the organisation to activate workers). He was just pitting people against each other. But we never questioned him.”

Referring to Pilot’s remark that he had “come here to be the CM and not sell baingan (brinjals)”, Gehlot said, “We spent seven years with the kind of rough language he used but never said anything (in reply) because it is against Rajasthan’s culture. We respected him for being the PCC pre

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