8 Dec 2023

Rajasthan: Had Sachin Pilot yielded to Gehlot’s wishes even before elections…Cong had hopes of a win but got a crushing defeat

The recent Rajasthan Assembly Elections-2023 marked a significant blow for the Congress, exposing internal factionalism. 

Former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot remained marginalized throughout the elections. Pilot yielded to Gehlot’s wishes during ticket distribution. This surprised many political analysts. Everyone was stunned by the way Pilot, who had talked big about integrity and honesty before the elections, agreed to giving tickets to controversial people like Gehlot supporters Shanti Dhariwal and Pramod Jain Bhaya.

Speculations arose about an undisclosed agreement between Pilot and Gehlot

Speculations arose about an undisclosed agreement between Pilot and Gehlot, as Pilot secured tickets for around 40 supporters, while Gehlot's loyalists received over 150. This internal strife and the failure to field new faces contributed to Congress's defeat.

Gehlot's attempts to secure a fourth term as CM faced challenges due to Congress's internal divisions. The publicity company Design Box hired by Gehlot and its director Naresh Arora failed to garner electoral success. His decision to position himself in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi backfired, as the BJP strategically relied on Modi's image and the lotus symbol.

Sitting MLAs were fielded ignoring people’s resentment

Before the elections, Gehlot had repeatedly said that there is no negative atmosphere against the government among the people of the state. The public is happy with the works of the state government. He conceded there was resentment among the public regarding some MLAs. Therefore, we will field a large number of new people. But by the time elections came, all the things remained on paper and senior and sitting MLAs were fielded in a hurry. As a result of which Congress had to face a crushing defeat.

Gehlot was unable to control resentment

The Congress campaign suffered from internal rebellions, with Gehlot unable to control resentment among rebel candidates. Party in-charge Sukhjinder Randhawa's focus on the Gehlot government and allegations of corruption among those appointed as office bearers added to party's woes.

Seven guarantees didn’t work

Despite the Gehlot government's seven guarantees, the public remained disillusioned, as promises, including farmer loan waivers and job creation, were unfulfilled. Issues such as paper leaks in recruitment exams further eroded trust.

The missteps of State Congress President Govind Singh Dotasra, along with controversial appointments and allegations against Minister Subhash Garg, Dhariwal's inappropriate remarks, Rajendra Guda's Lal Diary episode, and the open corruption of the Mines Minister, contributed to the tarnishing of the Congress image.

Cong must regroup for upcoming LS elections

Looking ahead, Congress must regroup for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Radical organizational changes, including selecting a non-controversial MLA as the legislative party leader, are crucial. Unity and a renewed approach are necessary to regain the trust of the people to avoid further setbacks in future elections.

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