The Rajasthan Congress has been in limbo since several MLAs boycotted the legislative party meeting held in Jaipur on September 25. The factionalism of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot is coming to light.
In its fourth Chintan camp held in Udaipur, the Congress Party passed several important resolutions to prevent the decline of the party base and to bring about revolutionary changes in the policies of the party. For which all the big leaders present in the thinking camp supported with one voice and asked to strictly implement it. Many months have passed since the Congress thought camp. But still many of the proposals taken there have not yet been implemented. Rajasthan Congress Committee was the organizer of Chintan Shibir. But the resolutions taken in that camp are not implemented in Rajasthan itself.
In Udaipur Chintan Shibir, the most important proposition was taken on the principle of one person one post. In which it was decided that the one person one position principle would apply to all the party leaders except the Gandhi family and all the leaders would have to follow this party principle. But the one person one post principle has not been followed till date in Rajasthan. There are many big leaders in Rajasthan Congress who hold more than one post. But no one removed him from other posts. Leaders holding more than one post are also being opposed by party workers. But their protests are having no effect. If one person holds more than one post against the party rules, frustration prevails among other workers. Activists working at the grassroots level feel that many leaders in the party have been placed in two positions. On the other hand ordinary workers like him could not get a single post. Why is this discrimination made?
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The Rajasthan Congress has been in limbo since several MLAs boycotted the legislative party meeting held in Jaipur on September 25. The factionalism of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot is coming to light. Supporters of both the leaders do not miss a single opportunity to insult each other. Party organizing general secretary KC Venugopal also issued an advisory to curb the growing factionalism and rhetoric of party leaders in Rajasthan. In which all the leaders were instructed not to make any kind of rhetoric against each other. But even that advice is not followed.
Minister of State Rajendra Singh Guda in the Gehlot government is openly demanding to make Sachin Pilot the Chief Minister. He says that four years have passed and if Sachin Pilot is not made the Chief Minister, the number of MLAs of the Congress party will not even touch double digits in the next assembly elections. MLA Divya Maderna also supported Guda and said that the bureaucracy in the state has become so strong that even MLAs and ministers are not listened to. In such a situation, the condition of common people of Congress is dire.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Pratap Singh Khachariawas has also slammed his government for writing confidential reports of departmental secretaries. The Khacharia residents say that ministers will not be able to sneer at officials unless they get the right to write departmental secretaries’ reports. Water Supply Minister Mahesh Joshi countered Khachariawas statement saying that I fill the reports of the officials of my department and other ministers of Rajasthan also fill them. Khachariavas and Joshi have spoken openly about the matter.
At the Chintan camp in Udaipur, the Congress took a resolution of one person, one post. Under this, after being nominated for the post of Congress President, Mallikarjun Kharge resigned from the post of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. But there are still many leaders in Rajasthan who hold more than one important post. Many big names including Cabinet Minister Shanti Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi and Govind Ram Meghwal are involved. The list includes leaders of both the Gehlot and Pilot parties.
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Shanti Dhariwal is counted among the most powerful ministers of the Rajasthan government. He is closest to Gehlot and formulates the entire strategy of the government in the assembly. He is the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs with Urban Development. Apart from this, he has also been the Chairman of the Housing Board. On which any other leader of the party can be appointed. Mahesh Joshi, another cabinet minister close to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, was very active in supporting Gehlot during the 2020 Pilot faction coup. He was the chief whip in the government. He was also made a cabinet minister in the cabinet expansion last year. He currently holds both positions. Disaster Management Minister Govind Ram Meghwal is the MLA from Bikaner’s Khajuwala and has been inducted into the government as a Dalit face. Meghwal also remains on the post of the vice-president of the Pradesh Congress.
Cabinet Minister for Water Resources and Planning Mahendrajit Malviya is also the Vice President of the Pradesh Congress Committee. Ramlal Jat has an important account like revenue. Apart from being a Jat Cabinet Minister, he is also the Vice President of the State Congress Committee. Fatehpur MLA Hakam Ali Khan is the general secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee. Now he has also been made the Chairman of Waqf Development Council. Dheeraj Gurjar is the secretary of the All India Congress Committee and co-in-charge of Uttar Pradesh. Along with this, he has also been made the Chairman of State Seeds Corporation Limited in Rajasthan. Rehana Riaz is the president of Pradesh Mahila Congress for a long time. Among the political appointments made this year, she was also made the chairperson of the Women’s Commission. Pilot group MLA GR Khatana is the general secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee. Among the political appointments, Khatana was made the Chairman of the Building and Other Public Works Committee.
In Rajasthan on September 25, in the presence of observers, General Secretary Ajay Makan issued a statement on conflict of interest in the media following the revolt of MLAs. Makan said that if someone is going to become President, he must resign from another position before becoming President. Because after becoming the President, if he takes a decision for his government position, there may be a conflict of interest. It was for this reason that Mallikarjun Kharge resigned as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha soon after his nomination.
In the state in November last year, three leaders had to resign as ministers under the one post one person formula of the Congress. These three leaders were entrusted with the responsibility of three different states. Among them Dr. Raghu Sharma was the Medical Minister, who was removed from the post after being put in charge of Gujarat Congress. On the other hand, after becoming the state president of Rajasthan, Govindsinh Dotasara resigned from the post of education minister. When Harish Chaudhary was removed from the post of revenue minister and made in charge of Punjab.
Ramesh Sarraf Dhamora
(The author is a freelance journalist recognized by the Government of Rajasthan. His articles continue to be published in many newspapers of the country.)