New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi broke his silence on the Rajasthan Congress government crisis today as he posted the latest edition of his daily tweet attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. None of the Gandhis – Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi Vadra – have spoken publicly till now on the week-old crisis triggered by Sachin Pilot’s revolt.
Rahul Gandhi listed “attempts to dislodge the Rajasthan government” among what he sarcastically called the government’s “achievements” in the time of coronavirus, directly accusing the ruling BJP of engineering the crisis.
The list went like this:
February: Namaste Trump
March: Brought down Madhya Pradesh government
April: Had nation light candles
May: Government’s sixth anniversary
June: Virtual rally in Bihar
July: Attempts to pull down Rajasthan government
This is why the country is aatma-nirbhar (self-reliant) in the fight against coronavirus,” wrote Mr Gandhi, using PM Modi’s catch-phrase to imply that citizens were left to their own devices in the virus crisis.
The BJP’s comeback was swift and biting.
Among those who responded to Mr Gandhi was Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, who posted: “Rahul Gandhi, note your achievements in the last six months – February: Shaheen Bagh and Riots; March: Losing Jyotiraditya Scindia and Madhya Pradesh and April: Instigating migrant labourers.”
The former Congress president has maintained radio silence so far on the rebellion of Sachin Pilot, one of his closest aides and a key member of what was dubbed Rahul Gandhi’s Gen-Next brigade in the party.
Mr Pilot broke ranks with the party on July 10 and has since been camping in Delhi. He has denied allegations by his former boss and main rival, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, that he has been conspiring with the BJP for months to pull down his own government, following the template of Madhya Pradesh, where Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit led to the Congress losing power to the BJP in March.
Since the crisis exploded more than a week ago, Mr Gandhi has tweeted about COVID-19, the economy and even on the China dispute.
Behind the scenes, however, the Congress MP’s huge concern has been evident in the number of times he has reportedly reached out to Mr Pilot through emissaries.
His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke to Mr Pilot directly on at least four known occasions.
But last week, Mr Pilot’s outburst against his party leadership was followed by an acerbic rejoinder from team Priyanka Gandhi. Sources close to her said she had offered to take Mr Pilot to her mother and brother but he refused any discussion that did not include him being named Chief Minister of Rajasthan in a year, in place of veteran Ashok Gehlot.