Congress tussles: ‘After changes in Punjab, next will be Rajasthan’

After the dethroning of Captain Amarinder Singh as Punjab CM, next will be the turn of Rajasthan to see major changes, said veteran Congress leaders while speaking to IANS.

Former deputy CM of Rajasthan and ex-PCC chief Sachin Pilot recently had a long discussion in Delhi over the pending issues in the desert state and this time the high command wants to take strict action, close on the heels of Punjab, here too, said party leaders from the Pilot camp. “These changes, the high command feels, are required not only for the upcoming assembly polls in 2023 but also for the Lok Sabha polls in 2024,” they added.

“In December 2018, the Congress won 99 seats out of 200 and Ashok Gehlot was made the CM even though he was not the CM face during the poll campaign. After five months of these elections, Lok Sabha polls were held, where Congress scored a duck out of 25 seats.”

Now, the next elections are scheduled in 2023 and the party is contemplating a new CM face so that the 2019 Lok Sabha results are not repeated in the 2024 parliamentary elections.

In fact, veteran strategist Prashant Kishor has chalked out a comprehensive strategy and submitted it to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi, they said, had shared it with veteran leaders like Ambika Soni and other senior leaders. In his report, Kishor has recommended major changes in Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

These are the states where the Congress is on strong ground and hence the party should not take them lightly, he recommended.

Eventually, in the next few days, there will be major changes in the desert state which has been lying low in terms of political action.

In fact, Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken last Thursday announced at a press conference in Delhi that the roadmap is ready for a cabinet expansion and organisational rejig in the state.

He said, “If Ashok Gehlot had not fallen ill we would have already done the cabinet expansion while the roadmap is ready for appointments in corporations and as district presidents.”

The Congress leader said that Gehlot is still unwell and is working from home. As soon as he recovers this will be done.

However, Gehlot is back in action now. Since the last two days, he has started taking regular meetings and has called a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

So now there should not be any reason for a delay, said a party worker, adding that ‘Nikamma’, ‘Nakara’ (Pilot as quoted by Gehlot) has become the role model for Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka for his silence after facing so many insulting comments. He will now be rewarded for standing with the party.

The Pilot camp is quite happy that the Punjab tussle is over and is expecting similar action in the state. They want to see their leader as the next Chief Minister, however, there are chances that Pilot will be made the Pradesh Congress Committee chief. The other fact which makes them happy is that the much-awaited cabinet expansion and political appointments will finally take place soon.

Now all eyes are on Delhi to see what decision the high command takes, said Congress sources.