Sources suggest that the party high command may be contemplating ways to dislodge CM Ashok Gehlot.
NEW DELHI: The Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra has concluded. Subsequently, the suspense over the change of guard in Rajasthan has also intensified. Sources suggest that the party high command may be contemplating ways to dislodge Ashok Gehlot, who is currently the Chief Minister of the state.
In what is being seen as a “sour relationship” between Rahul Gandhi and Gehlot, during recent events of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gehlot missed a few important occasions. The most peculiar one was the concluding event of the yatra which was conducted in Srinagar city of Kashmir. A senior Congress leader said, “He has been giving excuses for a while now, what can we say? Things don’t seem clear, but if he leaves the party, he will become zero, like all others became who left the party recently.”
However, the perception among party leaders is that Gehlot won’t accept any kind of replacement where Sachin Pilot is involved. Insiders also claim that he must already be fielding his strategy to counter the move. According to a party leader, “If anything like that happens, he will hundred percent revolt; he is called the ‘magician’ for a reason.”
During September’s “revolt”, which was triggered by the Gandhis’ “decision” to make Pilot the promised chief minister of the state, Gehlot made it difficult for the high command to practice their authority, thereby undermining their credibility. It is believed that there were only around five close leaders of Gehlot who had perpetrated the whole resignation episode where around 90 MLAs had submitted their resignation to the Assembly Speaker. A leader said, “The high command clearly knows the whole event was propped up by Gehlot.”
At the time of rebellion, some MLAs had told The Sunday Guardian that they were afraid of senior leadership; so they had no option but to comply with them. Gehlot, who was supposed to step down to make way for Sachin Pilot, has been obstinately holding his position, disregarding the commandments of the party high command and this has presumably continued to anger the high command.
Party leaders who believe the yatra’s success has added solid authority to Rahul Gandhi say that the decision to rid Gehlot from the position would now be easy because everybody would back the Gandhi scion. “After covering such a long yatra, he has proved his mettle in many ways; now, whatever he decides, every leader will repose trust in his decisions and believe the decision would bring betterment in the party. And if he removes Gehlot, maybe the latter will revolt, but the whole Congress machinery will back him.”
He further added, “Even if there are some senior leaders who may be against Gandhi in replacing the Rajasthan chief, they will be unable to do anything or rather they have become powerless now before Gandhi’s decision making.” It is to be noted that the two rivals in Rajasthan had undergone a temporary truce during the yatra in the state. However, the feeling of despise for each other is believed to have remained. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had slammed his former deputy Sachin Pilot and called him a “gaddar” in an interview.