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Congress veteran brigade may resurface in Rajasthan

Srinand Jha and Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 11, 2013
First Published: 00:49 IST(11/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:54 IST(11/12/2013)

A purge and a process to bring in the old guard seems to be in the offing for the battered and bruised Congress in Rajasthan.

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The “surgical knives” were likely to fall on outgoing chief minister Ashok Gehlot and questions were also being raised about the poll management of party general secretary Gurudas Kamat, who is in charge Rajasthan affairs, sources said.

Unlike in the past, Gehlot will not be accommodated in the AICC while a section argued that since Kamat was given charge of Rajasthan only six months ago in the last organisational reshuffle and could escape the scalpel.

It is also curtains for Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Chandrabhan, who resigned his post after forfeiting his deposit in the recently held elections.

Suggestions are that senior party leaders of Jats, Muslims and SC/STs — considered traditional vote banks of the Congress — be honourably rehabilitated.

“Experiments at infusing fresh blood through the electoral process in affiliate organisations such as the Youth Congress, NSUI, Sewa Dal and Mahila Congress have failed. The new entrants have no commitment and are getting elected by using money power,” former Sewa Dal president Nizam Mohammed said.

Apparently, the “Rahul brigade” has also failed to fire. All eight Congress candidates lost in union minister Jitender Singh’s parliamentary constituency of Alwar, while other individuals such as CP Joshi, considered close to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, have not fared better.

“The rout of the Congress is an outcome of the mindless experiments conducted by the party leadership. Committed party workers have remained sidelined and isolated. This situation has to be reversed,” said a state leader.

As part of party-restructuring moves, it has been suggested that senior ‘Jat’ leader and former PCC chief Narain Singh — who has won for a record seventh time from the Data Ramgarh constituency — be nominated either Congress legislature party leader or the PCC chief.

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