'Media making unnecessary issue': Ashok Gehlot downplays remark asking Sachin Pilot to take responsibility for son's Jodhpur defeat

After sparking controversy on Monday for telling Sachin Pilot to take responsibility for Vaibhav Gehlot's defeat from the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday downplayed his remark and lashed out at the media for making an "unnecessary issue" out of it, sharing a clip from the interview.

In an interview to ABP on Monday, when asked about Pilot, the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state Congress unit chief,  claiming that he recommended Vaibhav’s name for the Jodhpur seat, Gehlot said, "Isn't it good that he suggested the name? There's misreporting about the two of us not getting along. If Pilot said that he backed Vaibhav's candidature from Jodhpur, then what are these differences being talked about? It's beyond my understanding."

Gehlot went on to say, "Pilot also claimed that a victory from Jodhpur is obvious as we have six MLAs from there and the campaign went well. I feel that Pilot should at least take responsibility for the defeat in the Jodhpur seat."

He further told ABP, "If someone says that the chief minister or the PCC (Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee) chief should take responsibility for it, I believe it's a collective responsibility."

The Times of India reported that Pilot sounded surprised at the remarks, but refused to comment.

The Congress lost all 25 seats from Rajasthan in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election. Tensions arose within the party, with Gehlot being blamed for  focussing on his son's campaigning while "ignoring" other seats. Gehlot comments on Monday were further seen as an indication of the alleged feud between him and Pilot.

Vaibhav lost the Jodhpur seat to Union minister and BJP candidate Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who won by a massive margin of over 4 lakh votes. The defeat came as a shock to Congress as Gehlot had represented the seat five times.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jun 04, 2019 17:26:46 IST