Rajasthan News

Sachin Pilot appointed as Rajasthan Congress Chief

by RajasthanDirect
Jan 14, 2014

Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee has appointed Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Sachin Pilot as its new state chief in Rajasthan.

Rumours and anticipations are already in circles as Pilot was called for a meeting with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi after results of assembly elections were out in 2013, handing severe drubbing to the Congress.

Pilot faces a very difficult task. He has very little experience with state organisation. Moreover, he will find it difficult to get out of the shadow of former chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

Pilot’s Gurjar caste, too, has little impact in Parliament elections but the removal of PCC chief Chandra Bhan will further antagonise jats. Meena, the powerful ST voters, too won’t like him. So, party may go in for a tie-up up with Kirori Lal Meena, an ST leader, despite his disappointing performance to get some Gurjar-Meena votes.

There have been talks about appointing Jat leader Viswendra Singh the leader of opposition to balance the caste equations with the Jats.

While the Congress hopes not to let BJP get more than 20 seats out of 25 in general elections, BJP is targeting all 25.

A year ago, the party had seriously thought of replacing PCC president Chandra Bhan. Gehlot didn’t let that move pick up as his autocratic style does not let any voice of dissidence.

Gradually, to the disappointment of Pilot’s supporters, the young leader too was seen siding with Gehlot in a hope that baton could be passed on to him.

Such Gehlot-style politics made Congress suffer its worst defeat in December 2013. Gehlot was given a free run. Under him, the party got just 21 seats in 200 member assembly.

The party had failed to learn from its 2003 experience when Gehlot as the CM was given free run but party got only 56 seats.

In both elections, Gehlot had tried to win over votes through last minute populism, a strategy which he succeeded in getting endorsed by the high command too.

Now in an attempt to deflect responsibility of defeat on him, Gehlot agreed on Pilot so as to blame Chander Bhan for defeat. Chander Bhan himself was defeated making it three losses in a row in assembly polls.

Between 2003 and 2007, Gehlot was kept out of the state and allowed to campaign only in 2008 elections with CP Joshi as PCC chief.

However, when the party got 96 seats and was to form government, high command made him the CM ignoring claim of Joshi and other veterans.

Pilot’s appointment seems AICC attempt to keep Joshi out of Rajasthan and more into national level politics.

There is a demand for making Gehlot the Governor, but the party wants to give him one last chance in general elections.

It also feels that if Congress loses power at the Centre, Gehlot, even if made a Governor, would be sacked too and would return to Rajasthan to throw his weight around.

src: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sachin-pilot-rajasthan-pcc-chief-congress-janardan-dwivedi/1/335963.html

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