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Rajasthan: It’s temporary ceasefire, not end of the war

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Prakash Bhandari: While the return of Sachin Pilot and dissident MLAs have put an end to the political crisis in Rajasthan, political pundits say that it is just a temporary ceasefire and not the end of the war.

“There is no permanent ceasefire in such wars. One could see firing every now and then and the voice of dissent will not stop. Both factions will have to make themselves understand the truce and imbibe it in their subconscious mind. But, even the subconscious mind has its limit and if the Gehlot and Pilot factions want the survival of the government, it will have to work out a working relationship,” said Jagdeesh Chandra, a political analyst and editor-in-chief of First India.

The return of the Sachin Pilot-led dissidents ensured that the Gehlot-led Rajasthan government would not collapse, but it has also caused discomfiture to Gehlot as he will find it difficult to strike a balance between the loyalists and the dissidents.

The 100-odd loyalists who sided with Gehlot during the 32-day-long political crisis have raised their voice against the re-entry of the dissidents. They feel that there was no need for the re-entry of the dissidents who were responsible for engineering the fall of the Rajasthan government with the BJP’s backing.

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“Now, these dissidents who are being welcomed have become a privileged class, who need to be catered to before the 100 loyalists. These dissidents should not have any place in the government or in the organisation. We have the required number to face the floor test” said senior minister Shanti Dhariwal.

Gehlot had vehemently opposed the re-entry of Pilot and his dissidents, but the Gandhis were keen to ensure that Pilot remain in the party. For the Gandhis, Pilot was an emotional issue after having lost Jyotiraditya Scindia through mishandling. Pilot enjoyed the support of the young brigade like Milind Deora, Jitendra Singh and others who backed him.

“I have always been a Congress loyalist and I only raised my voice against a system that has emerged in the governance where my voice was not heard. We did raise the issue of the leadership and working style, but all this was because the promises made to the people were not fulfilled and the party was not honest even with its own workers,” Pilot said.

Pilot has returned, but Gehlot does not know under what conditions he was sent back to Jaipur by the Gandhis. He was told by Ahmed Patel, the main intermediary who broke the ice between the two factions, that Pilot will have to be accommodated in the party as the Gandhis want him, but under what conditions it was not explained. Consistent efforts by Patel and KC Venugopal enabled Gehlot to bend a little as it was also his concern to save the government.

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Gehlot having ensured the safety of the Rajasthan government, which was basically bailed out by the Gandhis, will have to sort out the problems of fulfilling individual ambitions. The going will be tough with 100 loyalists on one side and the opportunist dissidents on the other side.

Gehlot’s effort would be to defer the issue as long as he could afford and the formation of a three-member committee to hear the grievances of Pilot and his dissidents has come as a relief. This committee, which will be formed with a specific purpose, will submit its report to Sonia Gandhi. And on the basis of the report, Sonia Gandhi will order further action.

All this would take time and this should give Gehlot enough time to work out a formula that would basically satisfy the loyalists. He will also have to ensure that no more dissidents group crop up as such a group would be difficult to handle and may result in the fall of the government.

 

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