At a time when Rajasthan is reeling under an unprecedented political crisis following rebellion by senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot, the Chief Minister has perhaps deemed it an opportune moment to bring his son – Vaibhav Gehlot into the game. To hide their own failure at keeping the Congress’ house in Rajasthan in order, the party has taken to relentlessly attacking the BJP and central government with unsubstantiated claims of them attempting to topple a democratically elected government. As a matter of fact, in its desperation to pin the blame on the BJP, the Congress has also allegedly resorted to fabricating audio clips to suit their narrative.
Vaibhav Gehlot, General Secretary of the Congress, but more importantly, the son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been trying his hand at politics for quite some time now, albeit, unsuccessfully. With the current political crisis all but over, Vaibhav Gehlot yesterday reached Jaipur to participate in a protest organized by the party. The said demonstrations took place across all district headquarters of the Congress. Junior Gehlot said, “You are seeing how the BJP is trying to topple a democratically-elected government. It is a Government that performed excellently in dealing with the corona pandemic. It is ironic how the BJP government at the Centre is trying to topple the same government which dealt with the corona pandemic.”
This is perhaps the very first time that Vaibhav Gehlot has participated in any of the Congress’ demonstrations. Despite being the General Secretary of the party, he had kept a safe distance from the political front, for all that the grand old party has to offer these days is doom. In 2019, Vaibhav Gehlot had been defeated in the Jodhpur constituency by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by a whopping margin of over 4 lakh votes. It is this defeat, which according to the Union Minister is now forming the crux of a vicious campaign being mounted against him. Jodhpur, mind you, has been a stronghold of Ashok Gehlot, who has himself been elected five times from the constituency.
Rahul Gandhi had back then lambasted Ashok Gehlot for abandoning the entire state and campaigning for his son in Jodhpur alone. Subsequently, Ashok Gehlot had pinned the blame of Vaibhav’s defeat on Sachin Pilot. The BJP had won all 25 seats from Rajasthan in 2019, months after the Congress won decently in Assembly polls.
Sachin Pilot was always a threat to Vaibhav Gehlot’s political career in the state, and also to the dynast’s possible Chief Ministerial ambitions. As such, with the exit of Sachin Pilot from the party, avenues have opened for Vaibhav Gehlot to participate more actively in the state, and perhaps in the near future, in national politics, although many are apprehensive as to whether he has a stomach for the same. Back in October 2019, during elections to the Rajasthan Cricket Association, the Chief post of which was won by Vaibhav Gehlot, Sachin Pilot had referred to the events which unfolded as those which will have a negative impact on the Congress’ image.
With Sachin Pilot gone, the Gehlots now reign supreme in Rajasthan (temporarily so), and Vaibhav Gehlot is being strategically positioned as a potential replacement to not just Sachin Pilot, but also to Ashok Gehlot in the near future.