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Rajasthan Politics: It's Ashok Gehlot vs Gandhis, even before he gets the Congress President's chair

If Pilot doesn't become the Chief Minister, it's not the Pilot who loses - it's the Gandhis who have to act according to Gehlot's will - even before he becomes the party President - the exact opposite how it was supposed to happen.

Rajasthan Politics: It's Ashok Gehlot vs Gandhis, even before he gets the Congress President's chair

Congress, and perhaps the Gandhis, witnessed entirely unexpected scenes in the last 24 hours - a time when it appeared that everything would fall in place in the party struggling to keep its organisation together. The Gandhis, a family that has held the reins of the Congress party for decades now, have a record of choosing their staunch loyalists for the significant party positions, state heads and Chief Ministers' post.

For the first time this year, the family decided that the party would have a non-Gandhi family president - a development that many saw impossible until a few months ago. After much discussion, deliberations and dilemma, the family zeroed in on one name - their senior advisor and head of the Rajasthan Government - Ashok Gehlot - a man who ranks high among the family's loyalists.

It goes without saying that the Gandhis expected Gehlot to be a rubber-stamp President, a leader who will do everything on the family's will, and in whose hands the party 'stays safe' (Remember? Sonia Gandhi's famous statement at the time of picking Dr Manmohan Singh for Prime Minister").

To trust someone for Congress president's chair, was perhaps, the riskiest decision to make for the Gandhis in two decades - last was when the Gandhis chose Manmohan Singh for the Prime Minister.

The things, even before they could have started as the Gandhis planned, went completely haywire on Sunday - the day when Gandhis were supposed to announce former Rajasthan Dy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot's name as the Gehlot's successor for the state's top job.

Ashok Gehlot's serious move - to go against Gandhis' Sachin Pilot decision in Rajasthan

Acting like a super-shrewd politician, Gehlot, the Congress' president in waiting, made a serious move - not to go with Gandhis' decision of picking Pilot as Rajasthan Chief Minister.

Gehlot and Pilot's power tussle - where the latter even made an unsuccessful attempt to topple the former's government once - is known to every single person in the party. However, another thing that is known to everyone, is that the Gandhis see Pilot --- a leader who has considerable clout among Rajasthan's dominant Gujar community  --- as the top choice for state's Chief Minister.

Gandhis were sure of one thing - that Gehlot will have to leave the Chief Minister's post as he will be elevated to the party President's chair. Here, the family seem to have pre-assumed one thing - that this transition will be smooth, with both Gehlot and Pilot both getting plum seats.

However, Gehlot had something else in mind - he either wanted to keep the power in his own hands or to install someone who is close to him. To say the least, a party leader from his camp of 80 MLAs, and not Pilot's, for sure.

Gehlot, it appeared, had made this condition clear in front of Gandhis, but wasn't open to outrightly opposing them for obvious reasons.

Acting like a super-shrewd politician, Gehlot, who is saying that "it's the MLAs' wish", has gone completely against Pilot's appointment as the Chief Minister. All his MLAs, so disgruntled, have submitted their resignations to the Assembly Speaker CP Joshi - making it impossible for Pilot, or anyone from his 20 loyalist MLAs, to become the Chief Minister.

If Pilot doesn't become the Chief Minister, it's not the Pilot who loses - it's the Gandhis who have to act according to Gehlot's will - even before he becomes the party President - the exact opposite how it was supposed to happen.

DISCLAIMER: Author Is Solely Responsible For View Expressed In The Article.

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