Video Producer: Hera Khan
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas and Purnendu Pritam
The month-long Rajasthan political crisis finally concluded with Sachin Pilot and his supporting MLAs deciding to stay with the party.
How did the Congress manage to save its government in the state?
What does it mean for both the BJP and the Congress?
An appropriate headline to sum up the events would be – strange but true.
Pilot and his camp of 18 MLAs agreed to stay back with Congress after their meeting with Rahul, Priyanka and Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi. Pilot was assured that his grievances would be addressed.
It was also clarified that, at the moment, no change in leadership would take place in Rajasthan and the current situation will persist. A three-member committee was also set up to address his complaints.
Pilot, however, is not returning to Jaipur as the Deputy Chief Minister and PCC Chief. It may be possible that some of the MLAs who supported him are given cabinet positions.
There are two kinds of analysis regarding the current situation.
One is that Congress took an unprecedented step to save the government from falling in Rajasthan.
And the other is that this is just a momentary ceasefire between team Pilot and team Ashok Gehlot, and is not a conclusive settlement.
How Did Congress Perform This Miracle?
Gehlot had suspected the rebellion long before it materialised and thus, proactively took defensive actions against it. Thus, he had the support of the party as the events unfolded while Pilot did not get enough support from MLAs as per his expectations.
Apart from this, the Governor delayed the Assembly Session in spite of repeated requests from Gehlot to convene the session as soon as possible.
At that time, it looked as though the BJP and Pilot would get more time to buy out MLAs to their side. However, this did not happen.
The Governor’s decision to convene the Assembly Session on 14 August turned out to be beneficial for Gehlot. If the Assembly Session was held then, the situation would have been completely different.
The involvement of CBI, ED, Income Tax officials; apart from this the Speaker’s hands being tied, cases being filed in courts, renowned lawyers coming to advocate Freedom of Speech, etc, made the situation look fishy. Despite the onslaught, BJP, known for its power reversal tactics, failed in Rajasthan.
Strangely, the BJP had to send its MLAs from Rajasthan to Gujarat instead of the other parties taking their MLAs to resorts.
Gehlot’s experience and strategic planning helped to keep the MLAs of his party intact. However, it won’t be correct to credit only the Congress for the present scenario. To some extent, it was because of the leadership crisis within BJP.
Former CM Vasundhara Raje was against toppling the Congress government. Her reluctance helped the Gehlot government. Moreover, the controversy around BJP’s Gajendra Shekhawat’s audio tape of his conversations with MLAs damaged their agenda.
BJP is not habituated to face failure. Despite several support systems and help from the Governor, courts, etc, BJP’s operation in Rajasthan failed. If this is not strange, then what is?
The Congress is known for shooting itself in the foot for being indecisive. They are know for not being able to oppose the BJP successfully. Amidst that, Gehlot’s fight has built a new narrative that the BJP being unbeatable is not true.
Priyanka’s role is also prevalent in this scenario. But how will she extend her role, will Rahul become the president of the party or not, questions like these are still left unanswered.
Rajasthan’s culture deserves to be praised. Rajasthan is known for not accepting this kind of political chaos. Chatter around the political turmoil in Rajasthan may continue, but for how long will democracy be mocked?
Toppling the party in power, misusing the law, misusing courts has become the new norm in Indian politics. Sadly, the ministry and the media are still not bothered about this serious issue.