As a kid, one is often asked what they would want to be in life. Some say they want to be doctors, some teachers and some dream of becoming astronauts. But it is rather strange that almost no kid wants to be a Congress leader – live like a king when you’re in power, live like a king even when you’ve been historically written off.
The dearth of the age-old Congress party in the state of Rajasthan is not hidden from anyone, quite literally. While the leaders of the congress party have never been able to live in peace, the devastating results of the 2013 elections and the subsequent anointment of Sachin Pilot as the face of the party for 2018 has not gone down nicely for many leaders including former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Although, instead of actually reflecting on the causes of the appalling loss in the elections, the congress party has come up with a new formula of bonding over dinner parties in the State. For a good two years, the leaders have been sleeping like there is no tomorrow, and the moment they wake up, they start hurling accusations at each other, only to go back to sleep again. The news of this open rift and blame-game has now reached the corridors of the High command and a farman has been issued insisting that the Congress leaders in Rajasthan must sit down together and bond over breaking bread.
Breaking bread or breaking bones, one can never be sure of the senior leaders of the Indian National Congress’s Rajasthan wing. There have been several reports of members of the Congress party literally resorting to physical violence and abuse. It’s only natural that former Chief minister Ashok Gehlot is anxious of hosting a dinner for senior Congress leaders, including state Congress president Sachin Pilot, to iron out differences in the top tier ahead before the 2018 assembly election. But then who could defy the ‘Lord Commander’ (Read: High Command). Congress in Rajasthan
Rumor has it that this news has been strewn by Congress vice-president and state in-charge Gurudas Kamatsince the latest party executive meeting last month, under the context that the ‘dinner diplomacy’ will allow senior leaders to ‘talk and dine’ in are laxed ambiance, dissimilar to formal party meetings, so that disparities within the Rajasthan can be smoothened out.
Apparently, Rajasthan has not been the only state to organize such dinners. The All India Congress Committee has written to all official units to arrange such feasts and the first dinner was hosted by Gujarat leaders last month. Congress in Rajasthan
Leaders in Rajasthan have embraced the dinner decision, although caution hangs in their hearts and heads. A Congress leader, without wishing to be named, said: “These top leaders keep meeting on and off…but the egos of these leaders comes in way of resolving issues within the party, and there is not much hope that dining can help their whining.”
However, Congress MLA Vishvendra Singh was in no mood to mince words. In a veiled reference to the ongoing tussle between Gehlot and Pilot, he said: “The dinner diplomacy is a sham. The reality is, there is one chair (for CM) and many contenders.”
The uneasy relationship between Gehlot and Pilot, since the latter took over as state party president in February 2014, is not hidden from anyone. Pilot was sent by the party high command to head the Rajasthan unit in 2014 after the debacle in the last assembly election when the Congress had managed to bag just 24 seats out of 200. Congress in Rajasthan
The unendingbattle for power, with both leaders trying to ascertain their authority in the party, does not spell good for the Congress party. Already divvied over power-hunger and with no touch of ground reality, these parties may not be able to prevent the Congress party from dying its natural death in Rajasthan.