By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-07-18 13:34:22
More than proving the state of his relationship with Sachin Pilot, what Ashok Gehlot disclosed today proves that the Congress has become a moribund party. If the chief minister and his deputy, both from the same party, are not on talking terms for the last 18 months or so and if the party to which they belong does nothing about it, then it can be safely said that things in that party are on autopilot and no one is bothered.
Since Gehlot became chief minister (for this term) on 17th December 2018, the astonishing disclosure means that Gehlot and Pilot stopped taking just one month after the government was formed. Did the Congress not care about the state of the governance in Rajasthan if the top two functionaries in the cabinet were not talking to each other? Or was it not bothered enough to do anything about it?
In these 18 months when they were not on talking terms, Gehlot and Pilot must have tried to create factions, not only within the state unit but also in the bureaucracy, the police and the local bodies. They would also have done several things to undermine each otherâs position. Hence, it was impossible for the party or its high command not to know about the seriousness of their ongoing feud.
That Sachin Pilot did not want Gehlot to become the chief minister was clear in 2018. But Rahul Gandhi had brokered peace between the two then, and thought that was that. In the case of most other political parties, the top leadership would have monitored their subsequent actions. But the Congress did not. It let the wound fester and become cancerous.
The party should have woken up after the loss of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh but it did not. A headless party (an interim president does not count) embroiled in a bitter fight between the well-entrenched old guard and the upcoming youngsters and dependant on sycophants more than grassroots leaders is not a good enough opposition to counter the BJP. Indian democracy is poorer because of the state of the Congress party.