MP rewind? Congress leaders fear fall of Rajasthan government
The recent political developments in Jaipur have brought a headache for the Congress leadership in Delhi. While many Congress leaders continue to claim that there is no threat to the one-and-half-year-old Rajasthan government, others apparently have no qualms in admitting that the situation is unfolding the way it did in Madhya Pradesh, a state that the Congress lost just months ago. Here's more.
A quick reminder of what happened in MP
In March, the 15-month-old Congress government in MP shook after more than 20 MLAs, including long-time stalwart Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party. Subsequently, the Kamal Nath-led government collapsed. BJP staked claim to form the government and the party's Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn-in as CM.
Infighting within the Congress party at play?
Cut to Rajasthan, the government is indeed facing trouble in staying afloat. Senior party leaders admit there exists an ego clash between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot. Others say the rift is part of a larger issue within Congress, where young leaders (like Pilot) are worried about their future as the party still isn't showing signs of a revival.
Why have Gehlot and Pilot been at loggerheads?
The feud between CM Gehlot and Pilot started even before Congress gained power in Rajasthan. The two were not in agreement during the candidate selection process before the crucial 2018 Assembly election. However, the tussle escalated after Congress decided to make Gehlot the CM for the third time. This upset Pilot, who had played a major role in uplifting the party in the state.
In fact, the rift has deepened with time
After the Congress came to power, Gehlot and Pilot again disagreed on portfolio allocation, as the former kept most crucial departments, including Finance and Home, to himself. In the succeeding period, the two leaders have often crossed swords on various policies and actions of the government, leading to a greater rift and formation of camps within the party.
Gehlot blamed BJP for sabotaging government, latter denied
Now, CM Gehlot has alleged that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to topple his government, saying that attempts are being made to lure its MLAs toward the rival party. However, the BJP has vehemently denied these allegations, claiming that the infighting within the Congress is responsible for the political drama in the state.
Last night, Gehlot convened meeting to discuss situation
Amid the ongoing confusion, leaders of the Congress party from the Gehlot camp, including cabinet ministers, as well as some independent legislators, met the Chief Minister at his residence on Saturday. Later at night, Gehlot held a meeting of the council of ministers to discuss the political situation in the state. Notably, Congress has 107 members in the 200-member state legislative Assembly.
Meanwhile, Pilot arrives in Delhi to meet the Gandhis
Meanwhile, Deputy CM Pilot is currently in Delhi, along with at least a dozen loyalist MLAs. He has reportedly sought time to talk to Congress President Sonia Gandhi about the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan. Both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have been briefed about the situation, sources informed NDTV. A Madhya Pradesh-like situation won't be allowed to take place again, a Congress leader said.