Why Gehlot says he will be CM again
Raging speculation about a possible change of leadership in Jaipur has forced Ashok Gehlot to issue a rare public statement. “I will complete this term, lead the party in the elections and be here for two decades,” Rajasthan’s chief minister said when launching two campaigns – “Prashasan Shahron ke Sang” and “Prashasan Gaon ke Sang” – since his official residence. October 2.
Another 20 years in politics will place Gehlot, who turned 70 in May, in the league of a handful of politicians, such as K. Karunakaran and VS Achuthanandan in Kerala and Parkash Singh Badal in Punjab, who have remained active politicians. up to 90 years. However, Gehlot has not been very visible in recent months as he contracted Covid in April and underwent angioplasty in August of this year.
Gehlot made it clear that he would be CM if the party won the legislative elections of 2023. Indeed, he was to welcome the Chief Minister of Punjab Charanjit Singh Channi for a lunch on October 5 in his residence but canceled it on sight. violence during the peasant unrest in Lakhimpur Kheri and the detention of Priyanka Gandhi. Also present were Rajasthan’s ministers and congressmen, signaling the crucial role it is expected to play in upcoming elections in neighboring states.
Gehlot first searched the media for broadcasting stories at the request of the BJP government to the Center, alleging he would suffer Amarinder’s fate. However, he cleverly avoided accusing Sachin Pilot, his big rival within the party, of being the source of such media coverage. The pilot’s meetings with Rahul Gandhi at the time of Amarinder’s release from Punjab also fueled speculation about a rejig in Rajasthan, but insiders insist Gehlot is safe, although one cannot tell. say as much of his ministers. Revenue Minister Harish Chaudhary, who is also in charge of the Punjab and plays a political role there, recently said that Rajasthan is not the Punjab and that Gehlot has the support of over 100 MPs.
Gehlot said the media harassed him at every function he visited on Gandhi Jayanti, asking if he would go the Amarinder path. But he said he was not going anywhere and even smiled at Urban Development and Housing Minister Shanti Dhariwal, whose department was hosting the event the chief minister was speaking to, saying he would do again. Minister Dhariwal UDG after winning the election and returning as Chief Minister. . Lately, reports indicate that a particular lobby wants Gehlot to change Dhariwal’s portfolio. Dhariwal wants to be deputy chief minister if such a post is created, but President CP Joshi, who wants the post for himself, is reluctant to let him become number two in the cabinet.
Taking a step forward, Gehlot announced his intention to be active in politics all his life and end all speculation about his health. “Nothing will happen to me for the next 15 to 20 years; those who feel upset about it, too bad, ”he said. He also reminded his audience, including Chief Secretary Niranjan Arya and some ministers and MPs, of how he was forced to move his MPs and ministers to hotels for 34 days. “Our chief secretary and bureaucrats remain busy discussing whether the government will last or not. It will last for five years, ” he said.
Gehlot also took Pilot’s last barb head-on. In a shift in strategy to seek a change in leadership and a reward for his followers, Pilot has publicly stated his goal is to bring Congress to power. “We won this time around, but we were also reduced to 56 (in 2003, out of 200 seats) and 21 (in 2013) because of the anti-office,” Pilot said, claiming his goal didn’t was not to let this happen and right the wrongs that led to such massive defeats.
In retaliation, Gehlot said there was nowhere anti-titular. “We have worked hard in our last two governments, but we were reduced to 56 and 21 in the election,” he admitted, but said he had worked from day one to make sure this does not happen again. The results of the bypoll confirm this. Gehlot as chief minister seems to be performing better than in his previous two terms. Two more polls are expected on October 30. The high command is also on guard for the Rajya Sabha polls which are expected to fill four vacancies in July next year; Gehlot believes his party will win three. Pilot showed the first signs of rebellion and the BJP attempted to dislodge Gehlot in March of last year as Raya Sabha’s ballots for three seats were due to be held later in June.
Another section thinks that Gehlot will eventually have to leave, but on his terms. For now, he said he was staying put and had shown enough confidence and comfort to back up that claim. Still, those keen to see him go insist it could be a strategy to buy time for a smooth transition and keep the BJP in the dark so it doesn’t destabilize the state’s Congressional government. .