The saga of Congress infighting doesn’t seem to end at all. It has barely been a handful of months since the Gandhis quelled the Rajasthan political crisis, but it seems another one has erupted just as suddenly. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot have again displayed their dirty laundry for the world to see.
The latest dispute is with regards to political appointments. Ahead of completing 2 years in office, CM Gehlot has started appointing his confidants in key positions. Gehlot is keen to involve more and more of his supporters within the organisation.
Realising Gehlot’s move, Sachin Pilot reached out to Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Organisation General Secretaries KC Venugopal and Ajay Maken. He reminded the Congress leadership of their old promise, in which his and Gehlot’s supporters were supposed to be given an equal share in cabinet and political appointments.
In the few political appointments that have been made until now, none of the appointees are Pilot’s supporters. This has led to questioning within the Congress as Gehlot’s half a dozen appointments made till now are without due regard to the agreed upon terms. These appointments include appointments in Rajasthan Public Service Commission and Information Commission. Supporters of Pilot have expressed their displeasure over the appointments made in these two organisations.
According to a senior Congress leader, Gehlot does not want Pilot to interfere in state politics. He neither wants to make Pilot a Deputy Chief Minister again nor does he want to give his supporters a position in power and organisation.
The source also said that Gehlot’s statements made a day earlier on BJP attempting to topple the state government is also part of this strategy. On Saturday, Gehlot alleged that BJP and Amit Shah are again trying to destabilise his government. Looking at the perfect timing of Gehlot’s attack, it is evident that this is a veiled effort to corner Sachin Pilot ahead of the important political appointments. By suggesting BJP involvement, Gehlot is attempting to clip Pilot’s wings.
According to sources, Gehlot is busy sending the message to the senior Congress leadership that the government can be safe only if the decisions are made according to his choices. Even the pro-Gehlot leaders are working and communicating with senior Congress leadership to assert Gehlot as the only political authority in the state.
Rajasthan political leadership is oblivious to the national events surrounding them. All their time and resources are spent in the infighting. Such is the intensification of this crisis that the Rajasthan leadership is silent about the ongoing farmer protests, even when other Congress leaders are quite vocal with their opinion. With Gehlot continuing to fill his cabinet with his lackeys and Pilot being equally adamant, another Congress civil war is very much on cards.