Gehlot camp relieved over Prashant Kishor not joining Congress

Camp feared strategist might persuade high command to effect leadership changes in state in favour of rival Pilot

Published: 28th April 2022 08:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2022 08:16 AM   |  A+A-

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (Photo | PTI)

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

JAIPUR:  Prashant Kishor’s farewell to Congress even before his entry to the party seems to have cheered up Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s camp, which has been fearing that the poll strategist might persuade the high command to effect leadership changes in the state Congress in favour of rival Sachin Pilot.

Ever since Pilot met with Congress top leadership in Delhi recently, there had been a strong buzz that the Congress would undergo “big changes” in the state, based on PK’s suggestions to the high command. 
PK’s entry was seen as an advantage to the Pilot camp. Sources claimed PK had suggested the high command to give prominence to young leaders in the party.

Pilot loyalists saw this as a key to bring former deputy CM and state Congress president Sachin Pilot back to some crucial position before the Assembly elections next year. Despite the buzz about changes at the top level in Rajasthan, the sources claimed that the Gehlot camp is greatly relieved at PK’s decision to stay away from the grand old party.

Gehlot camp’s reservations with PK were clear when state technical education minister Subhash Garg, a close aide of the CM, targeted the strategist without naming him on Tuesday.  Garg tweeted that “the party needs a Chanakya, not any trader or service provider. Only leadership and workers can make an outfit strong”.

Even though Garg did not mention anyone in his tweet, his use of words like ‘advisor’, ‘service provider’ and ‘trader’ is seen as a direct reference to PK. Garg has been associated with Gehlot for a long time. Political pundits believe that no minister in the CM’s camp will tweet in such a way without a political motive. 

The sources said if Kishor had joined the Congress, it would have affected party’s internal politics in Rajasthan. The state has seen a constant power struggle between Gehlot and Pilot camps like the one in Punjab. After two years of reconciliation between the two sides since Pilot’s failed coup bid against Gehlot’s leadership, there are signs of the tussle intensifying in the run up to next year’s Assembly polls. 
Both Gehlot and Pilot have recently met Sonia Gandhi. 

After meeting Sonia last Thursday, on a question of strategy and change of face in Rajasthan, Pilot said the same is being discussed and Sonia will make a call. Pilot’s statement was seen as linked to the change of CM in Rajasthan. Gehlot, however, refuted this on Sunday by asking people not to fall for “rumours”. Gehlot even said his resignation is “lying permanently” with Sonia.

Before attending PK’s presentation meeting in Delhi last week, Gehlot had remarked that PK was just one expert and that there were many professionals in the field and that Congress should be in touch with various agencies. 

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