In Rajasthan, the deadlock over the selection of next Chief Minister of the state continues over 72 hours after the grand old party ousted the BJP out of power, and staked its claim to form the next government in the state. After the announcement of state assembly elections results, the tug of war between Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot for the post of Chief Minister has intensified. The Congress President Rahul Gandhi held several meetings with both the CM aspirant but failed to arrive at any consensus.
According to media reports, after several rounds of discussions that lasted till Thursday midnight, senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot emerged as the first choice for the post of CM. But Sachin Pilot refused to back down and puts forward seven points to support his claim for chief ministership before Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The points he put forward are as follows :
- I don’t indulge in caste politics, but a deliberate attempt is being made to portray me only as a Gujjar leader (only 4.5% in Rajasthan) only.
- Caste factor doesn’t matter. PM Mod is Teli, a numerically insignificant caste, but still, he got the support from all sections.
- In Madhya Pradesh, where caste matters a lot in elections, the party chose Kamal Nath (MP CM comes from Khatri caste, numerically insignificant in the state)
- As far as 2019 Lok Sabha elections are concerned, the history is not in favor of Gehlot. The party suffered defeat in Rajasthan in 2003 and 2013 when he was the CM of the state.
- If Gehlot wanted to become CM of the state then after the party’s defeat in 2013, he should have taken the responsibility and should have continued working for the party as the state president, but rather he preferred to shift to Delhi.
- There should be transparency in the selection process.
- There are allegations that Gehlot supported several rebels which ultimately created difficulties for the party candidates, affected overall tally of the party. He did this in order to prevent the party High Command from taking a decision in favor of the Congress party in case of a huge majority.
After making his all the points, Sachin Pilot’s camp had said that they would accept and respect the final decision of the party high command. Now, the ball is in Rahul’s court. He is conducting a meeting with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot at his residence. It is expected that by Friday evening, the Congress party would break the impasse over the CM post, and Rajasthan would get its next CM. Once taken, the decision is likely to be made public at a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in state capital Jaipur, reported PTI.
According to latest media reports Ashok Gehlot is going to be next CM of Rajasthan.
— ANI (@ANI) December 14, 2018
This will serve as a big blow to the ambitions of Sachin Pilot and his supporters, in the battle between experience versus youth the Congress high command has decided to side with experience. This will however disappoint the youth supporters of the Congress after two back to back internal defeats- Madhya Pradesh followed by Rajasthan. The Gurjar community which Sachin Pilot hails from too will not be happy with the decision taken by central leadership of the Congress.