‘Gandhis want to replace Gehlot with Pilot, but disturbing the status quo will bring a wave of disquiet’.
NEW DELHI: Doomed if they do, doomed if they don’t,” that is how senior Congressmen and political analysts alike are viewing the current status of Rajasthan cadre. The Gandhis want to replace Ashok Gehlot, the current chief minister, with Sachin Pilot. However, “disturbing the status quo will bring a wave of disquiet,” a political analyst in the state said.
Word is, Gehlot may continue to be at the helm of affairs in the state. According to party leaders, the reason behind allowing him to carry on with his position is that the state cadre may implode, in case of a change, with Gehlot choosing a way against the Congress which could badly hurt the party. But at the same time, Pilot has also been waiting for his term since a long time. And delaying the decision anymore could bring a cascading effect to the party.
A top source told The Sunday Guardian, “Now the problem in the cadre has already spread all over in a way that it is hard to bring back the party as a united force in the current circumstances. If they go to the next election by ousting Gehlot, what will they say to the people—that Gehlot was bad and corrupt in his tenure? If he was bad, then people would ask why the Congress kept him all these years. All this will take a similar shape to the Punjab debacle, where the Congress lost miserably.”
In addition to that, there is also an understanding in the Pilot camp that he may have run out of patience after all the toil for so many years. After all, he has waited for so long and has been still kept waiting in a hope that he will be given the chief ministerial position soon. He may not have created any formidable stir till now, but he has been acting aggressively since lately. Party insiders say that Pilot showing resentment over the high command’s “indecisiveness” has become routine now and it may continue like that.
However, the less popular observation is that there could also be a “Rahul Gandhi element” in managing the cadre directly. A political analyst who has observed Rajasthan’s political activities closely said, “Rahul Gandhi has made many strange decisions in his life, they have been straight and at times the decisions have been made without estimating any loss or profit. He placed Mallikarjun Kharge at the helm of Congress affairs at a time when everybody was thinking that he will take the charge of the party himself eventually. So it could be the Gandhi scion taking difficult decision again.”
On Wednesday, Pilot was seen saying, “We are heading towards an election very soon, the budget has also been presented, and the party leadership has said many times that it would take a decision on how to move forward. Whatever decisions have to be taken about the Congress in Rajasthan, should be taken as we are looking at polls at the end of the year,” Pilot said.
A news agency quoted Pilot as saying, “I am told through the media that they have replied to those notices. So far, there has been no decision or action taken by the AICC (All India Congress Committee). I think the disciplinary committee under Antony and the Congress president and leadership can best answer as to why there has been such a long delay in a decision.”