Rahul Gandhi will give a strong message to rebels and rivals during Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan.
NEW DELHI: The Congress is all set to showcase the welfare schemes of the Rajasthan government during all the Assembly elections that will be held after Himachal Pradesh polls. These schemes include old pension, confirmation of ad hoc staff, free treatment, etc. But what is surprising is that the high command is unable to rein in the leaders who are making statements against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who is the real brain behind all these schemes. The leadership’s laxity may harm the party in crucial states like Congress-ruled Rajasthan which is one of the three major states which will go to polls just six months ahead of the final electoral battle of Lok Sabha. The dilly-dallying on the part of high command will cost the Congress dear in the 2024 parliamentary polls.
The non-action by former interim party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi earlier did a great deal of damage to the party in the desert state. Newly-elected Congress president Mallikarjuna Kharge should do something different. Otherwise, Congress leaders are already looking for a face who could be blamed for the party’s poll reverses. As of now, nobody is saying anything against the Gandhi family, though some leaders privately express anger against its members. Now, the party has high hopes from Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. However, only poll outcomes will tell what party gained from Rahul Gandhi’s ‘bearded face’ and his Bharat Jodo Yatra. Party leaders say that the yatra would continue, no matter what the results are. Rahul Gandhi may proceed on another yatra after the end of Bharat Jodo Yatra. The new yatra may go through those states which remained uncovered during the present yatra.
The main purpose of Rahul’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is the “electoral battle of 2024”. But the question is whether this yatra can pave the way for Congress’ return to power without triumph in states. This is not possible without winning states. Congress central leadership has not been serious about states, while the BJP leadership has always been quite focused on state and local polls. As a result, there has been a saffron surge everywhere. Lack of timely action by Congress high command harmed the party tremendously. MP, Goa and Northeast are the examples of how Congress’ dilly-dallying cost it dear. The same attitude of the high command can be seen in Rajasthan. The leadership does not seem to have learnt its lessons from what happened in MP. Those who were in the government toppling game in MP were also trying to create the same situation in Rajasthan with the help of Sachin Pilot. The Gandhis know all the leaders who were involved in all this. But unfortunately, they are not acting against them. Sachin Pilot who led the rebels around two years ago is still trying to destabilise the government. The political crisis in September hurt the party and dented the image of Gehlot who has been the most trusted leader of the Gandhi family. The development set off the speculation of trust deficit between Gehlot and the Gandhis. Despite all this, Pilot continues to foment trouble for the government, violating the high command’s instructions not to make any public comment. Gehlot is busy finalising the next budget, and the high command is silently watching such anti-party activities. Sachin is saying that the high command would take action against three leaders who were served notice for the incident of 25 September. But the leadership has already closed the file, as it is satisfied with the explanation from all the three leaders—Shantilal Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi and Dharmendra Rathore.
Now, Rajasthan is waiting for Rahul Gandhi’s yatra which will reach the state in the first week of December. Sources say that Rahul Gandhi is likely to send out a stern warning to rebels and rivals during his presence in Rajasthan. Rahul Gandhi would signal that the next elections would be fought under the leadership of CM Gehlot and PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasra. Rahul is maintaining distance from all the rebels. A strong message by Rahul Gandhi to rebels may help control the factionalism in Congress and the party would then be united in Assembly elections next year.