Jaipur: Former Jaipur MLA and City Congress president Pratap Singh Khachariyawas created flutters in party state unit on Wednesday when he said only those who struggle on streets with the common man were the real `big' leaders.
Congressmen took Khachariyawas's statement as a swipe at former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who was missing at the party protest against power rate hike, while PCC chief Sachin Pilot led it in Jaipur. Addressing the protest rally, Khachariyawas look at Pilot and said, "You are travelling from village to village and hamlet to hamlet to lend support to common man's voice.People are with you."
He added, "Jo sadkon pe sangharsh karega, log uske saath hain. Jo bade naam hain, vo galatfehmi nikal le (People are with the one who struggles on streets; the `big names' should shake off their delusions)." After the rally, when he was asked to elaborate on the statement, Khachariyawas said, "People do not understand what a so-called big leader is. One has to come out and stand with the people on street to be a big leader.
It makes no sense if one thinks of self as a big leader but the people do not think so." He added, "Congress does not need leaders who do politics while seated in closed rooms."
Asked if the Congress seniors meeting over dinner at Gehlot's place were the big leaders he was referring to, Khachariyawas replied, "I do not know about the dinner. All I know is that a leader has to stand among the people." Khachariyawas said, "In Congress, there are just two big leaders at the national level–Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. At the state level, the big leader is just the PCC chief (Pilot). In my view no one else is a big leader while in Opposition." Sources said Gehlot was unwell so could not attend the protest on Wednesday.