Troubles do not seem to be ending for Congress any time soon. Even as Congress government in Madhya Pradesh and Congress-JD(S) alliance government in Karnataka stare at a collapse, cracks seem to be widening up within Rajasthan Congress itself.
As per reports, Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot wants Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Congress chief, to take responsibility for his son Vaibhav Gehlot’s defeat from Jodhpur. This statement of Gehlot comes days after Pilot loyalists attacked him and said that Gehlot’s style of functioning was the reason for the Lok Sabha debacle in Rajasthan. Congress could not win a single seat. All 25 seats in Rajasthan was swept up by the BJP just months after Congress won the state assembly elections ousting BJP’s Vasundhara Raje led government.
In an interview to ABP News, Gehlot was asked by the interviewer that he had heard it was Pilot who recommended Vaibhav’s name for the Jodhpur Lok Sabha constituency.
Gehlot responded, “It is a good thing if he did that. It puts the media reports of rift within the party that the chief minister and the state unit president do not get along to rest. But since Pilot had claimed that Congress will win Jodhpur with a huge margin since we have even done great campaigning, I believe Pilot should at least take some responsibility. He should do a post-mortem of Jodhpur seat and find out why we didn’t win it.”
He added that if Pilot had claimed Jodhpur will have a landslide victory for Congress and even claims he got the ticket (for Vaibhav), then he should also share the responsibility of the loss.
The Rajasthan state assembly elections saw cracks emerge between Pilot and Gehlot. The elections brought forward the bitter infighting between the Gehlot and Pilot camps even during the campaign for the Rajasthan Assembly elections. The infighting transformed into a series of intense discussions within the party that delayed the announcement of who would be the chief minister. The balance eventually tipped in Gehlot’s favour, leaving Pilot’s supporters unhappy.