Jaipur: A few days after declaring a minister's portfolio during his fourth tenure, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who is in his third tenure, has softened his stance. During a visit to inspect Prashashan Gaon Ke Sang” (administration with the villages) camp in Bikaner district on Friday, he spoke about 'aiming to ensure that Congress forms the government for the fourth time’ and not about 'who becomes CM'. This change of tone is being seen as a fallout of the ongoing political tug of war in Rajasthan Congress.
CM Gehlot, addressing a public meeting during his visit, said "You (people) made me the CM third time; it’s no less a thing. I realize and acknowledge that."
When someone from the crowd yelled, "Fourth time again", the CM smiled and responded, "Chauthi Baar toh kya (what to say for the fourth time)… Maibaap toh aap baithe ho… (you are the guardians/deciders)." Then he said that the aim should be to ensure that Congress forms the government for the fourth time.
This statement is a marked difference from what he said during the launch of this campaign October 2 at his residence in Jaipur. He had said, "Now I am absolutely fine with the blessings of the people and nothing will happen to me for the next 15-20 years. If someone wants to be said then be.’
It is to note that the internal crisis in Rajasthan Congress is going on for more than a year and CM Gehlot is under pressure to resolve the issues raised by the opposing faction
He had claimed that his government is here to stay for full five years and will return in power and that there is no anti-incumbency as yet. He had also said, "I will make (Shanti) Dhariwal Ji minister of the same department (urban development and housing). I’m declaring his portfolio today itself. He will be the UDH minister for the fourth time." The statement gace ab impression that he was going to be the CM for the fourth time in the next Congress government as well.
It is to note that the internal crisis in Rajasthan Congress is going on for more than a year and CM Gehlot is under pressure to resolve the issues raised by the opposing faction. Gehlot was in Delhi on October 16 to attend the Congress Working Committee meeting but could not get a chance to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Though a meeting was held to discuss the issues in Rajasthan at Rahul Gandhi's residence and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi was in the meeting. But Rahul was not present at the meeting, as was confirmed by CM Gehlot two days ago.
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