Jaipur, July 12: The greed of Ashok Gehlot to keep his power intact and the hunger of Sachin Pilot to stay strong in the larger picture is the reason for the tussle which triggered the Congress crisis in Rajasthan.
Since the Congress party formed its government in Rajasthan, there were two power circles created, one being led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and other by Sachin Pilot.
While Congress stands at 101, the BJP and its alliance with RLD had 75 MLAs. Looking at the thin strength, Gehlot played his magic and brought 13 independents under his fold. Later, 6 BSP MLAs merged with Congress.
Surprisingly, Pilot, despite being PCC chief, was kept out and was informed about the developments the next day via the media. This was just the beginning. The files of his department (PWD) were sent back by Finance (under Gehlot) quoting reasons for fund crisis.
Even the ministers of his camp were facing challenges and were receiving back files from bureaucrats quoting “Please Discuss”.
During the Covid crisis, Gehlot was busy calling video conferences with health and other departments, however, Pilot was never part of the meetings.
Pilot camp sources said that the Deputy CM wanted the entire Congress team on ground, however, Gehlot was more interested in making his larger picture and hence centralised the operations during corona.
Even on his father Rajesh Pilot’s death anniversary on June 11, when Pilot and team was about to go to Dausa to pay floral tributes, the police officials called Pilot and asked him to stay away from visiting Dausa as section 144 was imposed in the town in the wake of covid-19.
“They were busy holding meetings, camping in Marriott to prevent MLA poaching, but Pilot was intentionally stopped from visiting Dausa as it could have been his show of strength as many MLAs wanted to visit there,” said an MLA from Pilot’s team. Even the home department is looked after by Gehlot.
Further, the challenge started appearing grave when Pilot wanted Congress grassroots workers to get tickets for ensuing panchayat and corporation polls while Gehlot wanted to favour his closest. Also for political appointments, the CM wanted the BSP and independent MLAs to get plum posts while Pilot wanted them to be kept for Congress workers.
Pilot stood like a wall between Gehlot and his men and hence, it was expected that he will be shunted out as Rajasthan PCC chief.
“However, Pilot wanted to continue his term as PCC chief but was not interested in reading files as minister. The deadlock continued and when he was defamed many times by Gehlot camp in one or the other way, he then decided to bring in the high command into the picture and show his strength and that’s why this is happening now,” said a source.
It’s more like a door-die situation for Pilot but hopefully the Congress high command wakes up from its slumber said a PCC worker who told IANS that the party seems to be crumbling in the state with the deadlock. “We look dead and if things don’t improve, our party will be declared dead.”