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‘Pilot not resisting Gehlot in seeking maximum tickets for loyalists’

News‘Pilot not resisting Gehlot in seeking maximum tickets for loyalists’

Though Rajasthan Congress has seen bitter internal fights between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, there seems to be peace between the two over seat-sharing. Gehlot has been in pursuit of retaining maximum tickets for his loyalists without facing resistance from Pilot.
Sources privy to the developments in the state suggest that there has been no push from Pilot to compete with Gehlot in seeking maximum share of seats as he has only sought around 30 to 40 seats for his loyalists. A party insider said, “It was assumed that the fight between the two would rage during seat-sharing decisions as the two would want maximum seats for their loyalists, so that either would have leverage in negotiating within the party to become chief minister with maximum legislators on their side. But that doesn’t seem to be Pilot’s strategy right now. Maybe somewhere, he knows that the Congress will not be able to come back; therefore, he may have decided not to push too much for seats.”
Analysts suggest that with such a step, he might have been in harmony with the idea of his party not being able to return to power. Gehlot’s loss would eventually reduce the influence of Gehlot in Congress, seems to be assumption. The new equation within Congress, a leader close to the high command said, is that Gehlot has been distanced after he has gone out of way to push his loyalists to get tickets even if they have been facing anti-incumbency. A political observer said, “With such a step, so much money being used on surveys, to assess individual candidates so that the party can give tickets on winnability of a candidate, has gone to waste.” In its first list of 33 candidates, which was released last Saturday, the Congress gave tickets to 29 incumbent MLAs. Its second list of 43 candidates, which came out on Sunday, included 15 sitting legislators. In the Congress’ third list of 19 candidates, out Thursday, the party retained 12 MLAs. So far, out of 30 ministers, 21 have received party tickets and 68 incumbent legislators have received tickets.
A political analyst said, “There were reports though that there is pro-incumbency for Ashok Gehlot in the state, but the public doesn’t want to vote for the sitting MLAs. So, taking that into consideration, as the state leadership has tried it’s best to repeat the same candidates who are facing anti-incumbency, it will be a daunting challenge for the Congress to win the elections and repeat their government. There are surveys clearly supporting BJP’s win.” He added, “Rajasthanis are very vindictive, if they realise or come to know that “x” candidate has not worked, they will make sure that they punish him by not voting him. That is why we have seen this pattern in the past where the incumbent governments haven’t been able to return. So, if that sentiment is anything to go by, the Congress is bound to lose the upcoming elections.”

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