Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot animosities against one another have been brewing up for a long time, ever since the Rajasthan government formed in Dec 2018. The Congress leadership (if there is any) has been neglecting the issue, instead of sorting out amicably, knowing full well that it may lead to the tipping point later. For, the ailing Sonia Gandhi was forcibly made interim president of the party, though she was an unwilling taker, after Rahul Gandhi’s resignation to the post soon after the debacle in April-2019 parliament elections. Rahul Gandhi never worked as a full time politician. For him, politics seems to be one of the hobbies. He always shirks responsibility. Never took up a ministerial berth during UPA I&II, not out of altruism, but out of being his own self probably to travel abroad on personal errands.
Again, Priyanka Gandhi is her own person, going to parties in fashionable circles of page-3 culture in Lutyens Delhi. Now, since she is asked to vacate her bungalow in Lutyens, it is doing rounds in the Congress circles that she may be made as Rajya Sabha (R.S) member to retain her house to which she has been an occupant for twenty two years (i.e. 1997). Why did she not become an R.S member so long? She could have easily become if she wanted to when her party was in power for ten years in UPA I&II. The reason is simple. They (both she and her brother) enjoy their status in Delhi as an entitlement without any hard work. Being a Member of Parliament and being a minister gives in-depth knowledge about the country, people, parliamentary proceedings and also crisis management within the party. Working from close quarters is different from working from above. Neither Rahul Gandhi nor Priyanka Vadra would like to slog for the country. For, they think they don’t need to, for, everything comes to them on a silver platter.
Sachin Pilot’s grievances (he being sidelined and his political career being stymied or about to be wiped out by Gehlot in Rajasthan) were not addressed by the Congress High Command i.e. the first family. If there is any inner strife in the party, the High Command should smoothen. The High Command is expected to apply balm to the bruised feelings of Sachin Pilot when they admitted that he is one of their promising young leaders. They allowed Sachin Pilot to think that it was suicidal for his political career to remain in the party. The Congress leadership brought him to that pass. He was a victim of both in his state and in Delhi and was subjected to harassment. He was pushed to wall. So, he had to leave. Before leaving he faced ignominy of the worst order.
All in all, Sachin Pilot’s troubles did not stop there. He was charge sheeted on some trivial grounds. After revolt along with his MLAs, he was stripped off his Deputy C.M post and other in charges. Similarly, his associates, the MLAs with him, were disqualified by the speaker. Now, he had to go to the High Court to appeal. Yet, the Congress party makes a clarion call in public asking him to come back to the Congress family? What for? What is left for him? Assume, if he came back what work would the Congress give? Some low, non-descript job, where he needed to serve some big master, meekly surrendering? Already they have cast aspersions on him being hobnobbing with the BJP. Then, why are they asking him to come back? To taunt him?
In TV debates, the Congress has been taking an absurd stand. When the Congress party- spokespersons were asked, as to why they were not heeding to the request of Sachin Pilot to be the chief minister for at least a year before the Rajasthan assembly term ends, almost all spokespersons, in all channels said: ‘the Congress is a democratic party. Most of the MLAs want Gehlot to be the CM. How could Pilot be made?’ This is the height of absurdity. It’s out in the open that Sachin Pilot worked very hard to win the elections in 2018 in Rajasthan. Even Gehlot must have worked. When they both went to Rahul Gandhi claiming for the top-post, it is Rahul Gandhi, who pitch forked Gehlot to the top. The Rajasthan MLAs were not given a chance to elect nor had a secret ballot to choose between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
In that case, why now? Once a person assumes high office as a CM, he ensures that his flock is with him. The other person, a deputy CM equal to the rank of a minister, how could he muster majority MLAs around? In the long history of the Congress Party, it is always the High Command (taking the advice of MLAs is tokenism) selects the C.M-candidate that suits the High Command at large. All MLAs unanimously elect him. So, to deny opportunity to Sachin Pilot, the Congress is now citing democratic process.
Coming to the part of the BJP’s role from behind the curtain, is something insignificant compared to the mess that the Congress created in its own house. The Congress could not control the inner turmoil. It has allowed the crack to wide-open and divided. The BJP behaved like any other political party to see anything that turns good for it. The party knows it has no numbers. In the matter of numbers, the Congress Party is no paragon of virtue. After winning the election, it was on wafer thin majority. After gobbling up the BSP MLAs of Rajasthan, it gained stability. So, there is a kind of surreptitiousness among political parties.
To say that the BJP is vile, expansionist etc; is of no use. Sachin Pilot was and is (as he says) a die-hard Congress man, why he has turned against the Congress– what is his motive– if he has really (as the Congress says) made parleys with the BJP- what has brought him to this pass i.e. to trespass his own party’s boundaries and ideology– are yet to be known.
In any case, this Rajasthan crisis continues for some more time to come. The court judgment on the disqualification of MLAs–pending and phone call recordings/alleged tapes making a mystery, the Sachin’s saga is not yet over. For the present CM-Gehlot, it is an uphill task to keep his flock together to support him once assembly starts. All this head-ache, is the Congress’s own making.