Days after the Congress party suffered a humiliating defeat in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, it seems that the conflict within the party is growing.
For the first time, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot put the blame of his son Vaibhav Gehlot's defeat on Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Sachin Pilot, saying he should take responsibility for his son 's defeat from the Jodhpur constituency.
Jodhpur has been Ashok Gehlot's stronghold for several years. He had been elected five times from the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat.
When asked during a television interview if it was Pilot who 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 big margin because we have six MLAs in the LS constituency and our poll campaign was fabulous. So, I feel he should own complete responsibility for the seat at least. There should be a post-mortem of the result in Jodhpur seat to find out why we did not win it," Gehlot added.
He also said during the interview that the responsibility for the loss should be collective. "If someone wins, everyone wants credits. But if there is a loss, no one is ready to take responsibility. Elections are held under collective leadership," Gehlot said.
Gehlot's criticism of Pilot comes in the light of attacks on him by Pilot's loyalists who have reportedly said that the reason for Congress's loss in the state was the CM's style of functioning.
Party president Rahul Gandhi had also called out the senior leaders in Congress Working Committee (CWC) for putting their sons' interests over the party's.
Gehlot had reportedly taken part in 130 rallies and roadshows in the state, 93 of which were in Jodhpur alone. His son, Vaibhav, however, lost his maiden election from the Jodhpur seat to Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by a margin of 274,440 votes.