After the Congress' change of guard in Punjab, Himachal and Haryana, all eyes are now on Rajasthan to see how the Congress high command resolves the long simmering tensions between the two camps led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot. The two have been involved in a face off many times, firing indirect verbal barbs at each other.
The Congress recently changed its state presidents in three states -- Punjab, which witnessed a chaotic situation during the Assembly polls as well as in Himachal and Haryana.
However, the tussle between the two Congress camps in Rajasthan which witnessed tense moments during the rebellion by former Pradesh Congress Committee chief and deputy CM Sachin Pilot last year against the state leadership is yet to be settled.
In fact, recently Pilot met Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi in Delhi and if sources are to be believed, he has candidly conveyed to the Gandhis, "Either we perform in assembly polls or else we perish."
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We have already seen in Punjab how the last minute reshuffle created chaos. Now, here in Rajasthan, we need timely action to be taken, he told the high command, said Congress sources, adding, "We have already given a letter to Sonia Gandhi duly signed by 24 MLAs who have pitched for a change of guard in Rajasthan."
A veteran Congress leader alleged that CM Ashok Gehlot and former CM Vasundhara Raje are working together to shift power in alternate hands after each five year tenure. However, this time, we don't want it to happen and for the Congress to come back to power, it is important that a leadership change happens in Rajasthan.
The speculation over a leadership change was triggered after Ashok Gehlot gave a statement recently that his resignation is already with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. This statement added fuel to the fire and next day, Congress spiritual guru Acharya Pramod tweeted, "Threatening resignation before resigning is like blackmailing the high command, Chief Minister."
This resignation drama led to further speculation of a leadership change in the desert state which is getting ready to host a 'Chintan Shivir' next month to discuss the burning issues confronting the party.
Will it (a leadership change) happen or not? This is the question being asked in different political corners and looking at the present circumstances, a senior Congress leader commented, "It's more tension before the Chintan camp here."