29 November 2022

New Delhi : Amid the crisis in Rajasthan, the rebuff from the Gehlot camp stands in stark contrast to the ease with which Congress replaced Amarinder Singh as the chief minister of Punjab last year , underscoring the growing belief that an ever weakening Congress would leave the leadership vulnerable to state satraps with hold over local units .

For Congress desperately looking for election victories , coupled with Rahul Gandhi’s grand scheme to effect a leadership transition , the AICC’s attempts to shake up state units over one year has yielded mixed results . The Rajasthan shock is the strongest jolt it could have imagined .

Rajasthan shock strongest jolt
Rajasthan shock strongest jolt

From being the ultimate loyalist and putative nation al president , Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot , in the matter of a day , went to being a rebel who defied the leadership . His red line that antagonist Sachin Pilot could not be his replacement triggered a crisis because Congress did not believe that a mild Gandhian who untiringly swears loyalty to the top brass , could challenge its authority . It was possible be cause when Gehlot thought of going all out , he had the clout among the legislators to pack a punch .

Rewind exactly an year ago . An assertive sounding Amarinder could do little when he was eased out in a midnight coup in September 2021. A seething Singh had to bow to the leadership’s wish es because of a groundswell of opposition among party legislators , who were worried about their prospects in the elections six months ahead .

That Singh later joined BJP shows that he would have rebelled too , but for his weak hand in the legislature party – also the reason why he could do little when the Gandhi siblings forced his betenoire and mercurial Navjot Sidhu as the state Congress president . And this is where Gehlot seems to have scored over Singh .

In this thread , Chhattisgarh remains a curious case as an unofficial word spread around August 2021 that CM Bhupesh Baghel was being replaced by rival TS Singh deo. Aggressive and assertive , Baghel held two rounds of talks with Rahul amid what appeared a real power crisis . The state MLAs too were flown in to lobby the leadership in his favour , a move that was claimed to have ” upset ” the leadership . But nothing again was heard about the issue , and Baghel continued being close to the Gandhis .

It never came out whether there was indeed a move to replace him , or the top brass buckled under the show of strength by the CM . He has since cemented his position .

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