JAIPUR: After being sharply criticised by his deputy Sachin Pilot over the death of infants at a Kota hospital, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is now in damage control mode and seems keen to put an end to Congress infighting over this issue. In his first reactions to Pilot’s comments last week, Gehlot said that leaders from both the opposition and the government could ask questions and stressed that it was Pilot’s right to raise the issue as he also holds the post of the state Congress chief.
“Pilot is our Deputy Chief Minister as well as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president. He has the right to speak as the PCC president and we have to listen to him seriously. When the PCC president speaks, the government, the representatives of the Government, need to listen to it seriously and take action. That is what I believe.”
Striking a conciliatory tone, CM Gehlot said Pilot should give suggestions and should talk openly about any lacunae or shortcomings as that would help to improve the Rajasthan government’s performance. “I have no problem with it as it would ensure good governance. People from the government can also ask questions. If there is any truth, that should be investigated. If you feel there is any lacuna, then action should be taken but the role of the PCC president is such that he should openly say when he thinks something is lacking. If the Opposition criticizes us, then sometimes the president of the party in power also has the right to express himself,”
The CM’s statements are seen as an effort to patch up the differences within the party which have been on display after Pilot’s sharp criticism.