Taking an indirect dig at his former deputy Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the Congress had formed the government in 2018 due to its good governance model in the previous tenure (2008-2013), and not because of his junior party colleague’s “hard work”.
The Chief Minister said this while interacting with the media after attending the Republic Day’s function at Jaipur’s SMS Stadium.
Calling the party workers to work on ‘Mission-156’ (in reference to the number of seats won by the Congress in the 1998 assembly polls), Gehlot said that the party came to power five years ago due to its good governance model which was delivered from 2008 to 2013.
“Our party got 156 seats in 1998…. at that time, I was the state president. Now again, we have to work on Mission-156. Same number of seats have to be won,” he said.
“During the 2018 elections, it was in the mind of the people that last time (in 2013 polls), they made a mistake by changing the government. It was already in their minds that the Congress government should be formed and Ashok Gehlot should become the Chief Minister. It was the voice of the public, and the voice of the public is the voice of God,” the veteran Congress leader said.
His remarks are being seen as an indirect reply to Pilot “that the government was formed due to his good governance model and not due to his hard work which he has been claiming so far”.
Gehlot said: “People started missing the Congress government six months after the party lost the mandate. They started recalling that a mistake had been made and that the previous government was good.
“I don’t speak without thinking, I am God-gifted, I speak from my heart, the voice of my heart comes on my tongue, that’s why I am speaking. I think that this time, the public will support me,” he asserted.
Gehlot said that in 2013, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “created an illusion and hence, we were limited to 21 seats”.