Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot, CP Joshi

Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot, CP Joshi

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, September 25: Political capital of the Gandhis appears sinking, as even their chosen nominees are rebelling and taking steps which befit rebels.

Rajasthan plunged in a state of political uncertainty on Sunday after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot refused to walk on the guided path to take a room at the 24, Akbar Road and relinquish the chair in Jaipur.

Pratap Singh Kachariyawas, a Gehlot loyalist, told reporters that the observers sent by the Central Congress were listening to a mere half a dozen party legislators, while ignoring the majority of the legislator party.

The Gehlot loyalists claimed that they would submit their resignations to the Assembly Speaker CP Joshi. This is unprecedented in the affairs of state politics that over three-fourth of the legislators threaten to resign when the Central leadership seeks leadership change.

Gehlot, who is an organizational man, is known to have stronghold over the party affairs in Rajasthan, and most of the MLAs are said to be loyal to him. He was insisting that his successor for the post of the Chief Minister has to be his choice if he had to leave for the New Delhi assignment.

But his rival in the state unit of Congress, Sachin Pilot reached Kerala for consultations with the former party chief Rahul Gandhi, pressing that his apprenticeship was over and he be handed over the chair of the Chief Minister. Gandhis were convinced.

But the writ of the Gandhis no more carries the weight, as party veterans Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Captain Amarinder Singh, Sunil Jakhar quit Congress on nasty notes. The political observers noted that Gehlot has sized up the Gandhis, and he wouldn’t be an easy pushover.

For the Gandhis, the challenge is quite complex, for Pilot can go Jyotiraditya Scindia way any day if he knows that there is no ladder in the Rajsthan unit for him to climb. The Bharatiya Janata Party is waiting with open arms to welcome Pilot ahead of the next year’s Assembly elections.

Pilot would also be knowing that with Gehlot as the Congress chief and his nominee as the state Chief Minister there would be no space for him in the state politics.

In the BJP, Pilot may fancy better prospects, looking at Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, his Maharashtra counterpart Eknath Shinde and Scindia.

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