JAIPUR: Fissures in the top ranks of the state Congress have resurfaced. Former chief minister Ashok Gehloton Friday said persons appointed as Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) chiefs get carried away by mediapersons and start seeing themselves as the next chief minister.
Gehlot did not name anyone but said he was referring to present as well as former RPCC chiefs. There was, however, no record of RPCC chiefs projecting themselves as CM candidates. The ex-CM was talking to reporters in Sikar where he had gone to inaugurate a community hall.
Gehlot said, “We have a tradition here that no sooner somebody is appointed as RPCC chief, five or six mediapersons befriend that person and ‘make’ that poor fellow a CM. That person then starts building castles in the air, which harms the party. My belief is that it is for the person (RPCC chief) to ponder and understand.” On being asked if he was pointing to current state PCC chief Sachin Pilot, Gehlot replied, “I am not talking just about the present RPCC chief but about all past 5-7 RPCC chiefs.”
BJP may exploit Gehlot’s remarks in bypolls
Gehlot said, “When I was made the RPCC chief, some mediapersons told me too that I shall be the next chief minister. I wriggled out of the media talks, so I became the CM.”
The ruling BJP is likely to exploit Gehlot’s latest remarks, which have come ahead of the bypolls in Ajmer, Alwar and Mandalgarh (Bhilwara) that have been projected as semi-finals to the assembly elections due in December 2018.
Sources said the Congress high command has been “informed” about the senior leader’s statement made just before the “crucial bypolls.”
Though Gehlot’s differences with Pilot have been a talking point in the Congress circles for long, it is for the first time that former CM is being seen as training guns at past RPCC chiefs too. Pilot’s predecessors as RPCC chiefs have been Chandrabhan, C P Joshi, B D Kalla, Narayan Singh and Girija Vyas, in that order. Joshi, as RPCC chief (2008-2011), was seen a potential CM candidate in the run up to 2008 assembly elections. Congress replaced BJP in 2008 state polls but Joshi lost his election and Gehlot became CM for the second time.
Talking to TOI over the phone, Gehlot later clarified, “I have not accused anyone and have simply stated that this is what happens with RPCC chiefs in the state.” Narayan Singh, who was RPCC chief from 2004 to 2006, however, told TOI, “Mediapersons never projected me as next CM and I never built castles in the air to be one.”
Source : timesofindia