'Checkmated Pilot, again': BJP's Amit Malviya sniggers after Gehlot's big news
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who was initially reported to have the backing of the Gandhis in the upcoming Congress presidential polls, met party interim boss Sonia Gandhi on Thursday and apologised to her for the mass rebellion of MLAs in his state.
As Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot leaves the race to be the next Congress president, and veteran Digvijaya Singh joins it, the BJP on Thursday took the opportunity to launch a barrage of jibes at the grand old party. Taking to Twitter, BJP's IT-cell head Amit Malviya called Gehlot a “consummate politician”, and listed a series of consequences his decision to not contest the Congress presidential polls caused - “checkmating” rival and former Rajasthan deputy CM Sachin Pilot is one of them.
Malviya said that by not contesting the Congress presidential polls, Gehlot retained his chief minister's role and also saved himself from the “embarrassment of being a remote-control CP”.
“Checkmated Pilot, again. Keeps the option of breaking the Congress in Rajasthan and contesting 2023 (assembly elections), shred the aura of invincibility around SG (Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi),” the BJP IT-cell head tweeted.
Echoing Malviya, BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla shared a picture of Singh with Congress veteran Shashi Tharoor, the only party leaders to have confirmed of contesting the presidential elections so far. The picture was tweeted by Tharoor himself earlier in the day after Singh announced his decision to fight for the grand old party's top role.
“Gandhis were looking for a rubber stamp as next INC President… Clearly Gehlot did not fit the bill anymore… So out he goes!” Poonawalla's post on the micro-blogging site read.
He further wrote that the upcoming polling is not the hunt for the next Congress president but for a “rubber stamp”. “It's a fixed match,” the tweet added.
Gehlot met Gandhi earlier in the day, and apologised to her for the mass rebellion by MLAs in Rajasthan that gave rise to a political turmoil in the state. He added that it is “up to” his party boss now to decide if he can remain the chief minister of Rajasthan.
Gehlot had earlier stated that he did not have any hand whatsoever in the rebellion.
The Rajasthan CM, who had the backing of the Gandhis in the Congress presidential polls, found himself embroiled in controversy after the mass rebellion earlier this week. The lawmakers, as Gehlot's supporters, vehemently opposed the idea of Pilot taking over from the CM if he ran for the Congress president's post. The rebels demanded someone from their camp be chosen for the chief minister's role. The crisis escalated so much so that the rebels did not even show up for a Congress legislative party (CLP) meeting at Gehlot's residence last Sunday evening that was scheduled by party's central observers Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge, and instead held a parallel meeting at cabinet minister Shanti Dhariwal's house. Maken and Kharge later in their written report on the turmoil to Gandhi called the rebellion a “gross indiscipline”.
Initially, speculations were rife that Gehlot could bag a dual role by retaining his CM's position even if he gets elected as the Congress president. However, party's former top boss Rahul Gandhi snubbed the idea in lines with the grand old unit's “one man, one post” rule during a press briefing in Kerala last week for the ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.