A screen grab of the clarification video by P.L. Punia | Twitter | @plpunia
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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.


Also read: How and why Ashok Gehlot ‘baited’ Sachin Pilot to turn rebel

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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.

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.”

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.


Also read: Why Sachin Pilot is unlikely to go the Scindia way in his tussle with Ashok Gehlot


 

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