Since the Modi government first came to power in 2014, the grand old party of Congress has been decimated in nearly every state of the country. However, the few states the Congress party has managed to keep with itself have ultimately been lost, courtesy the constant bickering and in-fighting within the party ranks, with the recent example being the fall of V Narayanasamy government in Puducherry. Now, a fresh bout of controversy has erupted in the Rajasthan Congress ranks, merely 10 months after the infamous and ugly Sachin Pilot-Ashok Gehlot ringboxing match.
Last year, Sachin Pilot and his group of renegades were nearly on the precipice of engineering a coup against old turk Gehlot and fashion their dominance in the party. Panicked that Pilot could take the ultimate step, the Rajasthan CM resorted to illegally phone tapping his own MLAs who were in touch with BJP union ministers. The Rajasthan government only recently admitted that it had phone tapped its MLAs after BJP and its leaders constantly applied the pressure and forced Ashok Gehlot and his cabinet to wilt.
Reported by TFI extensively, the crisis in the Rajasthan Congress and its government began in July 2020 after recordings of phone conversations among Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, then Rajasthan Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh, and Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma among others, were “leaked”.
Read more: Make no mistake, Pilot has won nothing. Gehlot didn’t just outwit him but defeated him comprehensively
A day after the audio clips started circulating, the Special Operations Group of the Rajasthan Police used them as the basis for an FIR against Shekhawat and Sharma among others, for allegedly trying to topple the state government.
However, after Gehlot admitted in the House that his government had indeed recorded the phone calls, Vishvendra Singh, a Pilot loyalist retweeted BJP leader Divya Kumari’s tweet asking for a CBI investigation into the phone interception case. However, after the retweet caused some furore, Singh deleted the tweet.
Not targeting the Gehlot regime for its illegal phone tapping scandal directly, another Congress MLA, Ramesh Meena pointed out that Dalit, SC and other minority MLAs were being subjugated to step-brotherly treatment within the party ranks.
“Dalit, scheduled caste and minority legislators are being completely ignored in the government. This class is not being heard by the Gehlot government. Ministers do not meet MLAs of this class. The MLAs of backward classed are being made to sit on unoccupied seats without mics in the Legislative Assembly, from where they are not able to speak.” said an anguished Meena.
The fact that Rajasthan Congress is slowly disintegrating can be gauged by the statements of other Congress leaders like Brajendra Singh Ola and Hemaram Choudhary where they have openly criticized the Gehlot administration of discriminating with them and causing trouble to the public of their respective constituencies.
Read more: How Ashok Gehlot systematically cut Sachin Pilot to size and made him an non-entity in Rajasthan
Pilot and his coterie of supporters are already miffed that their leader has been side-lined by Congress high command and a dictatorial Ashok Gehlot. Thus, the statements by Congress MLAs echoing those of BJP leaders do not warrant a good look for the Gandhi family led party. It seems like the end is nigh for Ashok Gehlot and the phone tapping scandal might just be the last straw.