Congress supporters of various factions clashed, sloganeered, protested and tore off posters on the roads while state in-charge for the Congress in Rajasthan, Ajay Maken, took feedback from party leaders in Ajmer on Thursday. Police had to resort to mild lathi charge to disperse Pilot supporters after which they staged a protest at the Gunj police station.
Maken, the new state party in-charge, has been tasked with sorting out issues plaguing the party but the scenes in Ajmer are a clear indication the rift has run far too deep.
Incidentally, former deputy CM Sachin Pilot has been a member of Parliament from Ajmer, which is a Gurjar dominated constituency, and Pilot belongs to the community. He has immense support from Gurjars and his supporters reached Ajmer in large numbers. They staged a protest and sought Sachin be made the CM. They threatened to block roads across the state if this was not done.
The immediate object of ire was health minister Raghu Sharma, the Kekri MLA in Ajmer. Sharma had been elected MP from Ajmer in the byelection after the death of BJP MP Sanwarlal Jat in 2018, months before the assembly election. He had been considered a strong pillar of the Pilot camp but sided with Gehlot in recent political crisis. Pilot supporters raised slogans against Sharma and termed him to be a cheat and traitor.
Supporters of Raghu Sharma retaliated with sloganeering. Police resorted to mild lathi charge to disperse the crowds. Then, Maken met the leaders of Ajmer, Bhilwara, Nagaur and Tonk districts under the Ajmer division. He met over 50 leaders from each district and asked them about the issues plaguing the party and how the party organisation could be strengthened.
Caution about safety protocol for Covid was thrown to the winds as a large number of workers turned up to welcome Maken as he reached Ajmer. Most people were not properly masked and there was no social distancing. The feedback took place at Merwada Hotel in Ajmer.
Meanwhile, CM Ashok Gehlot held a virtual talks with farmers from all the 33 districts to review the ‘Agro Processing, Agribusiness and Agri Export Promotion Policy-2019’.