Why CM Ashok Gehlot is responsible for the political crisis in Rajasthan
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot is running out of tricks in his bag with which he can command the loyalty of the Congress. He is getting desperate by the day.
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Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is on a self-destruction mode. He calls his ex-Deputy CM “Nikamma” (useless), threatens the Governor of Rajasthan that people will gherao him if he doesn’t give in to Gehlot’s demands, and blames BJP for his own MLAs losing faith in his leadership. Lately, he ran into trouble with former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati, who has said that she will teach Gehlot a lesson for “unconstitutionally" merging the six BSP MLAs with the Congress in Rajasthan. The question is, why does CM Gehlot think the world is against him?
The answer — that Mr Gehlot himself knows, but wants to hide — is that the CM, hailing from the family of magicians, has no more tricks in his bag with which he can command the loyalty of the Congress. He is getting desperate by the day.
Dynasty politics is the curse of the Congress and Ashok Gehlot is no exception. He is trapped in the singular quest to launch his son Vaibhav Gehlot’s political career. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, CM Gehlot forgot the people of Rajasthan and the Congress party and campaigned almost exclusively in the Jodhpur constituency from where his son was contesting. CM Gehlot comes from a non-political background but his feudal desire to launch his own political dynasty caused resentment among Congress party workers in Rajasthan. This is especially true for the younger-generation MLAs who are now dissenting.
Ashok Gehlot is getting desperate by the day. (Photo: PTI)
Ashok Gehlot has already been chastened by the Rajasthan High Court that has ordered ‘status quo’ on his attempts to turn dissent among his Congress MLAs into defection, through a notice issued by the Speaker. The dissenting MLAs are clear that they have not defected, but are merely dissenting against CM Gehlot and want a leadership change. Inter-party dissent is required for a healthy democracy to keep autocratic tendencies in check. An experienced politician like Ashok Gehlot should have listened to his MLAs instead of humiliating them by asking the Special Operation Group (SOG) of Rajasthan police to file an FIR and issue notices of sedition.
Financial impropriety and misuse of government machinery are the other reasons for the dissent in Rajasthan Congress. CM Gehlot’s son Vaibhav’s business partner Ratan Kant Sharma has stakes in the Fairmont Hotel. Fairmont is primarily owned by the wife of Rajasthan Police SOG’s former head Anil Paliwal. At the time of a national pandemic, CM Gehlot was busy using the police to silence the dissent against him, and his cronies were getting lucrative financial deals borne out of the ED raids against the Chief Minister’s own brother.
Ashok Gehlot fruitlessly blames BJP for money and muscle power. However, the truth is that it is in fact Ashok Gehlot who is using money and muscle power to ruthlessly crush the dissent in the Congress. Gehlot’s misuse of government machinery in trying to create fear among elected representatives is unconstitutional.
BJP high command is often criticised by Gehlot. However, someone should advise him that it is the Congress high command which is clueless, leaderless, thoughtless, visionless and helpless in running the party, and is mostly focussed on solving petty squabbles among coteries. They have no concern for the party and are disinterested in any attempt of creating democracy within the party. This is the reason why they are never willing to support any voice of dissent against Gehlot. They fear that same voice may reach 10, Janpath. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, along with latest entrant to claim power — Priyanka Gandhi, have a single message for Gehlot: Crush all dissent in Jaipur, just as we crush all dissent in New Delhi. It is sad that Gandhis and Gehlot have forgotten that the Congress party itself has been crushed and may soon crash out of the Indian democracy.
Governor Kalraj Misra has raised a valid point that if CM Gehlot wants a floor test, why does he not mention it officially in writing? Perhaps Gehlot is not sure of his majority — more so after the six BSP MLAs have been asked to follow the whip and vote against the Congress. So from the Raj Bhawan to Rajasthan High Court, Congress MLAs in Rajasthan and the BJP, Ashok Gehlot is blaming everybody. It is high time that he realised his show is over and that he is himself to be blamed for the crisis.