Gehlot’s ‘chaiwala’ dig has all in chuckles
On December 11, the day of counting for the Assembly polls, as soon as the trends started showing that the Congress was racing ahead in Rajasthan, the media started gathering at the house of Ashok Gehlot at Civil Lines. While state Congress chief Sachin Pilot has a lot of clout in Delhi media, Gehlot is seen by the local media as a simple and affable leader. On the day, a delighted Gahlot personally served tea to party workers as well as all the media members. When people praised the tea, Gehlot quipped, “Remember that I am not a chaiwala.” The witty dig at PM Modi had everyone in chuckles.
Taking a cue from BJP? No way, says Gehlot
This is the first time in Rajasthan that the Congress has made the oath-taking ceremony such a grand event and also the maiden occasion when the ceremony was not held at Raj Bhawan, but at the historic Albert Hall museum in the heart of Jaipur city.
Also for the first time, two former Prime Ministers, Manmohan Singh and H D Dewe Gowda, were present as Ashok Gehlot took oath as Chief Minister and Sachin Pilot as Deputy Chief Minister. Some said the party was taking a leaf out of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s strategy to make a big show of every event. But Gehlot said the people were too excited and that the previous experience of organising the ceremony at Raj Bhawan was not convenient.
Lost touch with reality
Although Vasundhara Raje had promised to change the trend of government changing every five years in Rajasthan, she miserably failed. Joblessness, anger of Dalits and farmers and BJP’s polarisation politics were seen as the reason for their loss. But another factor could also be her tumultuous relationship with the media. She made a unique record of not holding a single Press conference in her entire tenure. She was also not in touch with reporters, so she was never in touch with ground reality. Though she had media advisors, the buzz is that these advisors never tried to bridge the gap between her and the media.
Pilot wife makes special appearance
It was a special moment for Sachin Pilot’s family, who came out in full support to witness him taking oath as Deputy CM. Pilot’s father-in-law Farooq Abdullah, too, was present at the crowning ceremony. But it was the special appearance of Pilot’s wife Sara which stole the show. She was there with her sons Aaran and Vihaan. This was the first time she was seen in Rajasthan publicly.
All eyes on ‘Gehlot, Pilot dosti’
Before the elections, Gehlot and Pilot hugged on stage at the insistence of Rahul Gandhi. Then came the famous picture of them riding a motorbike like Jai-Veeru of the movie Sholay. But the rivalry between them and the tussle over CM nominee was no secret. After the Congress victory, the tug of war for the CM’s chair finally went in favour of seniority and experience. And now, both camps are squabbling over ministerial portfolios for their supporters. All eyes are on how the two handle the power equation and whether the new state cabinet will be balanced in favour of Gehlot loyalist or Sachin supporters.