JAIPUR: The worsening Law and Order situation in Rajasthan has now become the latest reason to intensify the rift between CM Ashok Gehlot and Dy CM Sachin Pilot.
In a thinly veiled attack on CM Gehlot, his deputy Sachin Pilot has admitted that the law and order situation has deteriorated in the state and the government needs to do more to improve the situation.
“It is true that we should focus more on law and order. The government is serious on recent incidents and has taken steps. But the law and order situation has deteriorated at many places in the past a few months,” Pilot said in an obvious hint at Gehlot who holds the home portfolio.
Creating acute embarrassment for his own government, Pilot asserted that law and order is a crucial part of governance and shortcomings should be removed to improve the situation. He said the state government has taken recent incidents seriously, be it the jailbreak in Alwar or any communal disturbance in the state.“But we will have to be more conscious because people have expectations from us,” Pilot said.
Pilot’s comments come just days after the BJP slammed the deteriorating Law and Order situation in the state. When asked about BJP leader and Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria questioning the government on law and order situation, he said that as an opposition leader it is natural that Kataria will attack the government but it is also true that “we need to give more attention to law and order”.
Pilot’s comments just a day after Kataria slammed the Law and Order situation in Rajasthan has stirred political circles in the state. But this is not the first time that Pilot has targeted the Gehlot government. A week ago, the Rajasthan High Court had ruled that former chief ministers of the state cannot avail life-long facilities like government bungalow, telephone, and car.
Though it was a major setback for former CM Vasundhara Raje who could lose her official bungalow, when Gehlot showed signs of going soft on her, Kataria had demanded that the Court’s ruling should be obeyed strictly. Embarrassingly, Pilot too supported the views of Kataria and insisted that the Chief Minister should ensure strict action and implement the court order without any bias.
Earlier, in the Pehlu Khan lynching case too, Pilot had targeted the Gehlot government. After the court acquitted all the accused and Gehlot set up an SIT in the Pehlu case, Pilot had remarked that such steps should have been taken much earlier and the government should have been more pro-active in securing justice for Pehlu and his family.
Experts say the Gehlot-Pilot frictions have been intensifying ever since mid-July when after his Budget Speech, CM Ashok Gehlot, in an aggressive mode, had claimed that Rahul Gandhi made him the CM as he deserved it the most – an obvious reminder of the tussle he had with his Deputy CM Sachin Pilot in the race for the CM chair.
The rift in Congress has given the BJP a chance to attack the Gehlot government. Reacting to Pilot’s comments, BJP Spokesperson Satish Poonia remarked: “ Criminals are getting bolder in the state. Pilot’s comments make it obvious how grim is the Law and Order situation now. CM Gehlot must take this issue seriously and act decisively to improve the ground situation.”
Clearly, besides improving the deteriorating Law and order situation in parts of the state, mending the Gehlot-Pilot rift has to be a major priority for the ruling Congress in Rajasthan.