New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Congress in-charge and party spokesperson P.L. Punia posted a clarification video Monday afternoon, hours after he mistakenly said that Sachin Pilot was part of the BJP during an interview with the ANI.
Punia states that he was asked about a tweet by Jyotiraditya Scindia — who had quit the Congress in March and joined BJP — on Pilot being sidelined in the Congress party. While answering this, Punia says he had wrongly referred to Scindia as Pilot.
“I said Pilot is in the BJP and we don’t need a certificate from them (BJP) as we know their behaviour/feelings with respect to the Congress. I mistakenly said Pilot’s name when I wanted to say Scindia. If one sees the video they will see that the question was very obviously about Scindia,” he says.
The ANI interview was carried widely in the media Monday morning.
In the clarification video, Punia also says that he did not realise his mistake at the time. “I know that Pilot has very clearly said that he is not joining the BJP,” he says.
ANI ने मुझसे ज्योतिरादित्य सिंधिया के बयान पर प्रतिक्रिया पूछी थी जिसके जवाब में मेरे मुँह से सचिन पायलट का नाम निकल गया। ये सहज मानवीय भूल और ज़बान फिसलने की मामला है। सचिन पायलट ख़ुद ही कह चुके हैं कि वे बीजेपी में नहीं जा रहे। वे अब भी कांग्रेस का हिस्सा हैं।@ANI pic.twitter.com/YNI2kAqcTH
— P L Punia (@plpunia) July 13, 2020
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Original byte to ANI
Following the political crisis between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Pilot, Scindia had Sunday tweeted saying he was sad to see the latter being “sidelined and persecuted by Rajasthan CM”.
“Shows that talent and capability find little credence in the Congress,” Scindia’s tweet said.
— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) July 12, 2020
It was in response to this tweet that Punia had commented saying: “Sachin Pilot is part of the BJP now and we don’t need a certificate from him. Everyone in the Congress, be it politicians or party workers are deeply respected.”
“सचिन पायलट अब BJP में हैं.”
कांग्रेस नेता PL Puniapic.twitter.com/sIJ14mEWNH
— Manak Gupta (@manakgupta) July 13, 2020
Punia’s clarification, later in the day, comes amid reports of problems in the Congress government in Rajasthan.
A notice was sent to Pilot by the Rajasthan police, who claimed to have stumbled on a plot to topple the Congress government. This was followed by Pilot declaring rebellion, claiming the support of more than 30 Congress MLAs and some independents, putting the Gehlot government in trouble.
On Monday, 18 Rajasthan Congress MLAs were absent from the meeting convened by the party at Gehlot’s residence in Jaipur. Although 100 MLAs were present, there were only 89 from the Congress, which has 107 MLAs in the 200-member House.
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