JAIPUR: Amidst the turmoil within the state Congress, Labour Minister Tikaram Juli has resigned from his post of Alwar district president, igniting a fresh debate on the 'one person, one post' norm. The move has increased pressure on Deputy CM Sachin Pilot who also holds the post of state party president. There are almost three dozen Congress leaders in the state who hold posts both in the government and party.
Juli said he was resigning from the post as he was not able to spend enough time with the organization and sought that the party give another leader the opportunity. Juli's decision has given Gehlot supporters a weapon to strike at the Pilot camp.
Senior leader and MLA from Sardarshahar Bhanwar Lal Sharma who is a known Gehlot supporter took a potshot at Pilot indirectly and said, "We should follow Rahul Gandhi as Congress leader in Rajasthan too. Either quit the post in the government or the post in the organization."
Earlier, Gehlot had also resigned from the post of national general secretary after becoming the state Chief Minister. "Sachin Pilot has completed his tenure as the party president of the state but still not resigned even after Rahul Gandhi's resignation. He feels that his control over the organization will weaken and his claim to be the Chief Minister will also be not as strong," said a senior party leader on condition of anonymity.
However, Transport Minister Pratap Khachriyawas and Mines Minister Pramod Jain Bhaya, who are from the Pilot camp, refused to quit any posts. Khachariyawas is the state spokesperson of the party along with the district spokesperson and the district president of Jaipur, while Bhaya is state vice president. "We can't leave such posts just like that. It is a responsibility," said Khachariyawas.
Even after the assembly elections, a demand to implement the principle of 'one post, one person' in the state Congress was sought, but this was postponed due to the Lok Sabha elections.
In the last few days Gehlot and his supporters have increased their attacks on the Pilot camp. In his budget speech, Gehlot had also mentioned that he was made the Chief Minister due to his popularity with the masses. The comment has not gone down well with Pilot supporters.
After Rahul Gandhi resigned from the post of party president, he lamented that in the Rajasthan Congress, people in top posts have not taken responsibility for the Lok Sabha loss. None of the leaders in Rajasthan has taken individual responsibility although Gehlot has talked about collective responsibility for the debacle.
Here's a list of Congress leaders in the state who hold more than one post:
There are six state vice-presidents who are ministers in the Gehlot government -- Vishvendra Singh, Bhanwar Lal Meghwal, Raghu Sharma, Pramod Jain Bhaya, Udalal Anjana and Govind Singh Dotasara. There are three vice-presidents of the state Congress who are MLAs -- Khiladi Bairawa, Ashok Bairwa and Mahendra Jeet Singh Malviya. Apart from this, the General Secretary of the state Congress Murari Lal Meena is an MLA and Mahendra Chaudhary is the Deputy Chief Whip.
There are also two district heads in the state Congress who are ministers in the Gehlot government -- Jaipur City President Pratap Singh Khachariyavas and Jaipur Rural President Rajendra Yadav.
State Congress secretaries Zahida Khan, Prashant Bairwaa, Danish Abrar, Amin Kadji, Rohit Bohra, Chetan Dudi, Krishna Poonia and Indraj Gurjar are also MLAs. Another secretary Arjun Bamania is also a Minister of State in the government.
Women Congress President Rehana Riaz is also the General Secretary of the state Congress. President of the Youth Congress, Ashok Chandna, has independent charge as a state minister. Apart from this, the state Congress chief of Sevadal, Rakesh Pareek, is an MLA as well.