The first challenge before the newly-elected Congress President would be to resolve the ongoing tussle in Rajasthan and settle the issue of Chief Minister.
Both Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot are asserting themselves – the former to retain the post and the latter to succeed him, but Pilot is silent and Gehlot is more vocal, unlike the Congress culture.
The results of the Congress President’s election will be announced on Wednesday, and among the two contenders, Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor, the former was the senior observer for Rajasthan when a section of MLAs engaged in virtual rebellion by boycotting the CLP meeting.
However, the Gandhis were upset with the revolt-like situation but Gehlot came and apologised to Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and it was decided that the issue of leadership would be kept in abeyance till new President is elected.
Gehlot, interacting with the media at the state Congress headquarters in Jaipur, after voting in the Congress Presidential elections, has asserted that experience matters most and youth leaders should wait for their turn.
In an indirect attack on Pilot, Gehlot said: “The youth can work hard, but there can be no substitute for experience. Be it village, town or party, everything is based on experience.”
However, his views were firmly countered by Pilot camp leader Rajendra Gudha who said that just like one cannot sideline experience, the youth cannot be sidelined either.
“Pilot will become the Chief Minister. After the Congress Presidential polls, Pilot’s time will come. The leaders who were saying earlier that they will not obey the party high command, are apologising today,” Gudha said.
He also noted that Gehlot was appointed as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan for the first time in 1998 when he was 47, while Pilot is 45 now.