The “jadugar” Ashok Gehlot has to pullout a hat-trick once again. Dissensions and infightings are galore. If you thought it was Sachin Pilot who was unhappy with the way things were happening, sample this...
Amid Covid and cyclone Tauktae, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had his hands full with the huge challenge of keeping his party united. So far, he has succeeded in his efforts, but when the tide will rise AGAIN is anybody’s guess. Recently, a veteran Congress MLA resigned from Assembly and an Independent MLA who is also a Gehlot loyalist tweeted “Logon Ko Sambhalein Ya Ghar Walon ko.”
Gehlot is serving his third term as Chief Minister of Rajasthan and is known for his political acumen. However, this term seems to be the toughest one. In July 2020, he had faced rebellion from Sachin Pilot and 19 MLAs.
Although the crisis was resolved, dissidence still exists in the party and has surfaced time and again. It was evident during the Assembly session this year when some Congress MLAs raised the issue of discrimination with Dalit MLAs in the House.
Hemaram Chaudhary, Congress MLA, recently resigned and alleged Gehlot Cabinet of not treating legislators at par and of not being heard in the administration. He is yet to take back his resignation.
Another MLA from the same district came in support of Chaudhary while Ved Solanki had openly raised issues relating to appointments of bureaucrats on some key posts. Political appointments are an issue which have created considerable heartburn among party workers. Political analysts feel delay in political appointments can emerge as a major problem for Gehlot in the coming months. It has been more than two years and party loyalist are waiting to get their dues.
In a recent cabinet meeting, heated arguments between state party chief Govind Singh Dotasra and UDH minister Shanti Dhariwal made headlines. The clash reached such an extent that Dotasra and Dhariwal headed for a major showdown.
Although later on, Dhariwal went on the backfoot and issued a statement saying, “Dotasra is my friend. And there are no issues between us.”
CABINET REJIG MEGA PROBLEM: Cabinet expansion is another issue where Gehlot will have to use political acumen to appease party workers. There are nine berths to be filled and it will be an acid test for the astute Gandhian and Congress strongman. He will have to use his clout and tactic to get his way while maintaining truce all over.
Apart from his loyalists, Gehlot will also have to accommodate Pilot loyalists. In order to hasten up things, Pilot had stated in April that there was no reason for any delay on the issues which were sorted out unanimously in the committee formed by the party high command.
To add more masala to the curry, senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria constantly keeps saying “Gehlot’s Cabinet expansion will topple the government which is running with so many self-contradictions.”
So, the veteran Congress leader will need Tact, Fact and Act to win over his critics and tide over the crisis in Rajasthan politics.