Amid speculation over the change in Rajasthan Congress leadership, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot are camping in Delhi since Thursday ostensibly to brief the party leadership about the factors leading to the party’s wipe-out in the Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP won 24 seats while the lone remaining seat went to its ally, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party. The Congress rout was even more humiliating as the party came to power in the state only six months back.
“Things worsened in our party with the creation of two power centres. While one leader is connected to the grassroots, the other is a high flier, preferring to speak in English even in rural areas,” said a party leader refusing to be quoted.
Another senior leader, pointing his finger towards Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s picture on his table, said, “She has not given us full freedom.”
And pointing at Rahul Gandhi’s picture on his table, he said, “He (Rahul) wants to change the organisation by infusing young blood, but these people (Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh) stop him.”
Sources said many party leaders think that the party should have been governed by one leader. “Too many hands have spoiled the show,” said a local party leader.
Even tickets were given to wrong candidates on at least six seats including Jaipur, Jaipur Rural, Jhalawar, Rajsamand, Ajmer and Bhilwara. “Yet no one raised his/her voice,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP has demanded resignation from Gehlot on moral grounds.
Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria at a press conference in Udaipur said that Gehlot kept “running around the state and in his own constituency to make his son win”. But he could not ensure the victory for either of them. “He (Ashok Gehlot) should step down,” said Kataria.