Infighting within the Congress in Rajasthan once again came to the fore with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot launching a veiled attack on his party rival Sachin Pilot. PTI File Image
New Delhi: Infighting within the Congress in Rajasthan once again came to the fore with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot launching a veiled attack on his party rival Sachin Pilot. At an Independence Day function, Gehlot said, "People who never cared about party workers when they were in high positions will now teach me how to respect party workers."
"Some people are instigating party workers by saying that they are not being respected. Now they will teach me how to deal with party workers," he said.
The tension between the Gehlot and the Pilot camps has been simmering for long. After condemning the death of a Dalit boy last week, in a case of hate crime, Pilot said: "I hope that the government and administration will do justice to the family members as soon as possible, not just doing a formality."
Last month too, Gehlot took a subtle dig at the former deputy CM. Pilot retorted by saying that, "Earlier too the CM has said things about me, called me nakara, nikamma (useless, worthless) Ashok Gehlotji is experienced, he is an elder and like a father figure. When he says something, I do not take it otherwise."
In July 2020, Pilot along with 18 other disgruntled Congress MLAs revolted against the leadership of Gehlot, which created a crisis for the government. The reason for the trouble was that the Special Operations Group (SOG) had called
Mr Pilot among other leaders for questioning. Later, the month-long crisis ended after the intervention of the Congress high command.
After couple of months, the MLAs of the Pilot camp were given portfolios in the government. The trouble in the state is a creation of the indecision by the party high command in choosing a leader. The high command wants to please both sides and not take a decision.
The same situation was seen in Punjab when Navjot Singh Sidhu was promised the chief ministership but Charanjit Singh Channi was finally made the CM. The same problem persists for the Congress in Chattisgarh, where chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and health minister T.S. Singh Deo are at loggerheads.
Rajasthan goes to polls at the end of 2023, and if the high command does not act urgently to sort out this internal wrangling, it could have an adverse impact on the election results.