‘High command may explore a third option to get rid of problems caused by Gehlot-Pilot rift’.

NEW DELHI: The Congress is in deep waters over its Rajasthan cadre. As infighting between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot is refusing to slow down, politicians who have maintained neutrality between the two leaders suggest that the high command may be contemplating to explore a third option to get rid of problems caused by the Gehlot-Pilot rift in the state.
The buzz is that Rameshwar Lal Dudi could be the number three man for the Congress in the state. He is believed to be better equipped to lead the cadre, as well as be in compliance with the party high command. The reasons for his ascension would be the ongoing tussle between the two camps in the party.
There is an understanding that the party which should be preparing for the upcoming elections and planning to fight opposition has made a permanent political platform within the party just to fight each other on every possible issue which is making the divide deeper by the day. “The party is at a threshold of breaking down, but it will be like this unless a decision is made to deal with the core issue,” a party leader close to Pilot said.
Moreover, bringing in Dudi could be the plan-C of the Congress. With plan “A” of “surrendering” to keep Gehlot in place and plan “B” of trying to replace him with Pilot due to the latter’s assertion failing, the party has been in a spot over the issue, as it isn’t satisfied with Gehlot and it cannot bring in Pilot due to apprehension that Gehlot may revolt. That’s where the party leaders believe that Dudi may chip in.
Dudi was once Leader of the Opposition, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. For the first time, he got elected from the Nokha constituency in Bikaner district as an Assembly legislator. He was also Congress MP and represented the Bikaner parliamentary seat in Lok Sabha from 1999 to 2004. Dudi had also been into politics at the Panchayati Raj level. He was elected as a Pradhan in 1995 from Nokha. While being a Pradhan, he won the Lok Sabha election in 1999.
Last year, the Rajasthan government had also given him the status of cabinet minister. He was appointed as the chairman of Rajasthan State Agro Industries Development Board. A section of political pundits say that changing the leadership in the state is the best way to bring the cadre back on track or else one’s ascension will lead the other to make drastic moves against the party’s interests that can affect the state cadre.
Aditya Rathi, a political analyst who has ringside view of the Rajasthan cadre, said, “The infighting between the two has created a leadership vacuum within the party. The leader is one who takes along all and the one who has allegiance of everyone. However, the tussle between the two has led to the forming of two camps that are unwilling to work with each other.” He added, “With such a situation, it is required of the party high command to find better ways of bringing the cadre in line to stave off the internal tussle in the party.”