By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2022-09-28 06:07:13
It is very convenient to blame the so-called 'foreign hand' for all internal troubles and politicians across the world regularly use the excuse to get out of tight spots. But when the Congress, more specifically a minister of the Rajasthan government, Pratap Singh Kachariyawas, says that the BJP is behind the conspiracy to topple the Ashok Gehlot government in reference to the rebellion by MLAs loyal to Gehlot, it is stretching things too far. Kachariyawas has also alleged that Central agencies are ready to strike at Congress leaders in a bid to topple the government.
It is well known that the current crisis in Rajasthan is of the Congress' own making. It was lack of foresight on part of the party high command in not anticipating the problem in installing Sachin Pilot as the next chief minister after the elevation of Ashok Gehlot as the party president, given their history of not being able to stand each other. It was clear to even the most casual observer that even though Gehlot will become party president, he would not yield space to Pilot on his home turf, more so as he had the support of an overwhelming majority of the MLAs. The high command erred in not finding a solution to this before declaring Gehlot's name as a candidate for the party top post.
Thus, blaming the BJP for its current troubles in Rajasthan is not going to cut ice. For once, the BJP, well known for fishing in troubled waters, has kept out of the developments till now as per all available reports. There is definitely a huge chance that it will get involved if the Congress is not able to find a solution fast. It might then try to make use of Sachin Pilot's disgruntlement and might try to rope him to form the government. But that is a remote possibility now.
The Congress has two ways to settle the issue. It will either drop Gehlot as a candidate for the Congress top job and let him remain the state chief minister or convince him to run for president and allow Pilot to take over as chief minister. In the first case, there will be no need to change the chief minister and Pilot will have to cool his heels for some more time. In the second case, Pilot will become chief minister but will be a 'minority' chief minister as the majority of the MLAs would still be loyal to Gehlot and will tolerate Pilot only due to the high command fiat. In either case, the BJP will not have much to do. Also, the party will most likely not interfere at this stage as the state is due to go to the polls next year and given its history of changing governments every five years, it is going to be BJP's turn next. The party will thus hope that the Congress implodes due to its internal contradictions and hands it an easy victory in 2023.