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No Fear No Favour

Gehlot is now out of race, what could be Congress High command’s plan now?

Edited By: Vikas Mavi

27 September 2022 (New Delhi): The political turmoil in the Rajasthan Congress took a major turn when the Ashok Gehlot camp’s plans to obstruct the Gandhi family’s attempts to appoint Sachin Pilot as his successor backfired, knocking him out of the party’s presidential race for good. Ironically, Gehlot, a loyalist, was handpicked by the Gandhis to run for Congress President after being touted as a favourite who could easily win the elections.

Should CLP’s meeting be held after the election?

Gehlot loyalist MLAs resigned masse just before a scheduled Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting to pass a resolution authorising the high command to name the next Chief Minister (CM) of Rajasthan. They claimed that any such meeting was premeditated and that it should have taken place only after the elections. The observers had returned to Delhi amid the deadlock.

Is it a calculated move or Election fixing?

Despite the setback, Congress is going ahead with the presidential elections, denying criticism that Congress is slowly becoming a regional party with family control. This will also help the party solve the leadership issue in Rajasthan, which goes to polls next year. The initial plan was to station Gehlot in the centre so that the Gandhis could fulfill their promise to Pilot. In the current context, Gandhi family supporters hail this as a “master stroke” so because strategy killed two birds with one stone.

Congress boat is stranded in the middle

Congress President Sonia Gandhi demanded a written report on the Rajasthan revolt from party observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken on Monday, as Ashok Gehlot’s chances of becoming party chief faded and other candidates emerged. After returning to Delhi, kharge and Maken, who were sent as observers to Jaipur for a Congress legislature party meeting, briefed Gandhi on the parallel meeting held by Gehlot loyalists, calling it “indiscipline.”

But why the revolts are possible now?

The subsequent events demonstrate the Gandhi family’s weakened grip on the party. Their moral authority has dwindled as a result of successive losses. A regional satrap who challenges the high command paints them in a negative light. So, what comes next? Gehlot preferred state over national politics as he may not have wanted to be a puppet President or become the sailor of a sinking ship. However, his future in Congress looks bleak now as he may have crossed several lines with the High Command.

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