Jaipur, June 4 (IANS) Infighting in Rajasthan’s ruling Congress has come out in the open after the party was wiped out in the Lok Sabha battle in the state, with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot blaming his deputy Sachin Pilot for his son’s humiliating defeat.
And many Congress Ministers and MLAs are upset too and have gone public blaming the police and bureaucracy after the party failed to win even one of the 25 Lok Sabha seats.
In an interview to a news channel, Gehlot said that Pilot, the state Congress President, was quite confident that Vaibhav Gehlot will win from Jodhpur and “so I think he should take responsibility for at least this seat”.
Vaibhav Gehlot lost to Union Minister of State Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by over 3 lakh votes though the Chief Minister had campaigned in Jodhpur for days.
Gehlot said he was ready to take “collective responsibility” for the Congress defeat.
A Congress leader told IANS on Tuesday: “The faction fighting has come out in the open, which speaks volumes about the future of the party.”
Publicly, however, the Congress is trying to show a united face.
Even on Monday, Chief Minister Gehlot invited everyone in the party, including his detractors, to the iftar party.
The Congress washout in the Lok Sabha battle is doubly humiliating because the party had formed a government only six months earlier in the state.
Congress MLA and ex-DGP Harish Meena went on hunger strike against his own government for failing to act after a tractor driver died after being allegedly thrashed by police.
He promptly found support from BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Kirorilal Meena who shared the protest site with him.
Harish Meena called off his hunger strike on Monday when the government acted against the guilty police personnel and gave a job to one of the dependants of the dead man’s family.
Cabinet Minister Lalchand Kataria stunned everyone by resigning on social media but the government first denied receiving any such resignation letter.
Two days back, Gehlot said he had rejected the resignation.
Then Tourism Minister Vishwendra Singh also lashed out at the police and the administration for increasing crimes in his constituency. His Twitter posts garnered support from BJP workers.
Soon after the Lok Sabha rout, Dausa MLA Ramesh Meena accused the bureaucracy of not allowing them to work.
Nimbhahera MLA and Minister Udailal Anjana had earlier questioned the Congress decision to field Vaibhav Gehlot from Jodhpur.
He also wondered why an alliance was not formed with MLA Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party during the elections.
Another MLA, Ramnarayan Meena, urged Congress workers to stop infighting and warned that the government would otherwise be dismissed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
BJP MLA Rajendra Rathore indeed feels that the Gehlot government in Rajasthan will fall on its own within days.