Political crisis in Rajasthan

The tussle between Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, and deputy CM and state Congress chief, Sachin Pilot, is now out in the open, threatening the survival of the Congress government in the state. When the party won in 2017, Sachin Pilot expected to be rewarded and made CM. But Congress made Ashok Gehlot  Chief Minister of the state.
For Congress, the developments in Rajasthan could be reminiscent of what happened in Madhya Pradesh in March, when 24 legislators owing allegiance to Scindia resigned from the party and the state assembly, reducing chief minister Kamal Nath’s government to a minority.
In the 200-member Rajasthan assembly, the Congress has the support of 125 MLAs, including 107 of its own legislators. The majority mark is 101. The BJP has 72 legislators and has the support of three of Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RPL).
As many as 100 MLAs arrived at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence in Jaipur to prove the government’s majority amid the political crisis in Rajasthan on Monday. Congress leader Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the party’s door is open for Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, the rebel leader who has claimed that he has the support of over 30 party MLAs in the state's 200-member assembly.
Earlier in the day, Congress had issued a whip to all its MLAs, mandating everyone’s presence in the legislative party meeting. The move to test the political waters of Congress in the state comes just four months after the party let Madhya Pradesh slip from its grasp. This has once again underlined the leadership vacuum in the party and how its sense of drift is deepening faultlines within- old versus young, second-generation leaders versus those who rose through the ranks. It is but natural that younger leaders will seek opportunities to sustain their political lives and grow, instead of merely waiting for the leadership to resolve its issues. 
What is happening in Jaipur is exactly what happened in Bhopal earlier this year. The party lost Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had been raising issues within internal forums for over a year but to no avail; the net impact — the Congress lost its government in Madhya Pradesh.  The BJP is watching closely to see if it can find an opportunity to put up an alternate arrangement in Jaipur.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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