Infighting between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot has created a void between the state leadership and high command.

NEW DELHI: As the Congress’ Rajasthan cadre refuse to show any sign of improvement, intra-party hostilities, due to infighting between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, in the state have created a void between the state leadership and the high command. A party insider said, “The high command seems less interested about its Rajasthan cadre and has left them on their own.”
Sources privy to the developments suggest that during the recent plenary session of the Congress, the top leadership of Rajasthan were not allowed to speak. The reason for that was that the high command was aware of the growing tussle between the two leaders which has been harming the party’s image. However, it did not want this to spill over into the prime session (plenary meet). “Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot and even the state cadre president, Govind Singh Dotasra, were not allowed to speak,” a source present in the meeting said.
However, insiders close to Pilot said, “Pilot did not speak deliberately as he was aware of the importance of the session. Thus he did not want to ruin it by speaking about his own ambitions.”
Another party insider close to Pilot said that Pilot wanted to speak, but he knew that he won’t be allowed to speak what he wanted to say—speak on the restoration of the “promise” made by the high command of giving him the CM’s position.
Political analysts claim that for Pilot, the only important thing right now seems, “How he can dethrone the Gehlot and replace him. He has been doing everything to strengthen his position and pressurise the high command. To say that he found the plenary session more important is false. He has explored every option in the past to get to the top position, even switching over to the BJP.”
More importantly, the widespread claim among the leaders close to the high command is that the leadership in Rajasthan will not be replaced now as the decision could boomerang and hurt the party in the state dearly.
An AICC leader said, “Maybe Rahul Gandhi knows the political implications of removing the Chief Minister (Ashok Gehlot) who has considerable power in the party and has acquired considerable influence during his tenure. That could be a reason that he may not want to touch the state anymore, maybe he will wait and watch until the Assembly elections are close.”
Coming back to affairs of Gehlot, during the last steering committee meet as well, Sonia Gandhi had shown lack of interest in meeting Gehlot. In addition to that, people within the AICC also claim that his role in national politics has reduced drastically. “He was respected earlier, but that respect for him is not seen anywhere anymore. One could say that he has been left to himself,” an AICC leader said.
On the other side, Pilot is seen having the backing of the Gandhis, but it is also believed that the Gandhis have become powerless in front of Gehlot’s obstinacy and any decision in favour of Pilot could set off a full-blown war which the Congress wants to avoid at any cost. The party has also tried to keep up with a “united” narrative after the success of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.