Jaipur: In a first, a university vice-chancellor has openly commented on politics in Rajasthan, targeting former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot for using the farmers’ agitation to further his own political ambitions.
Dr Om Thanvi, vice chancellor of the Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication in Jaipur, has said that the kisan mahapanchayat held in Kotkhavda was a display of impatient ambition. Pilot had addressed a mammoth gathering in Kotkhavda in Jaipur district on February 17.
In a tweet, Thanvi wrote, “A display of the same impatient ambition under the guise of farmers. Withdrawal from the party meeting. Such meetings are organised by the party, not by individual leaders. Rahul Gandhi would not have asked for this divided support to farmers.
This is the first time an academic has openly voiced his opinion on the rift between Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Pilot. Generally, vice chancellors and academics refrain from public comments on politics. Thanvi, who is considered close to CM Gehlot, has set off a buzz in political circles with his tweet. He also holds additional charge of the MDM university, Ajmer.
The large turnout at the Kotkhavda meet has enthused Pilot supporters who feel he is being sidelined in the state. Analysts say Pilot is using the farmers’ agitation as a platform to fulfil his own political ambitions. By organising kisan mahapanchayats in different parts of the state, he is trying to send a signal to the party leadership that he is a mass leader.
Pilot had last year revolted against Gehlot’s leadership and brought the state government on the brink of collapse. The party high command has tried to unsuccessfully broker peace between the two leaders.
Pilot has found support in Acharya Pramod Krishnam who has been tweeting in his favour and backing Pilot for the post of CM. Thanvi’s tweet also got sharp reactions from Pilot supporters who were unhappy with the VC’s comments.