Jaipur: Amid speculation that he is the front-runner for the post of next Congress President, Ashok Gehlot said on Wednesday August 24 that he would continue to work as Rajasthan Chief Minister, even as some members from the Sachin Pilot camp congratulated their leader well in advance, anticipating that if Gehlot gets elected as the party President, decks will be cleared for the former Deputy CM to assume the CM’s role in the desert state.
During his visit to Ahmedabad on Wednesday, Gehlot said, “Right now, the party high command has given me two responsibilities. The first is to work as the senior observer for Gujarat, and the other as Chief Minister of Rajasthan. I will do both. I will put all my efforts to ensure that Congress retains power in Rajasthan.”
When asked about his name doing the rounds as the next Congress President, Gehlot said, “While there have been talks on these lines in the media for some time now, no one knows what will be the verdict. Our President Sonia Gandhi went abroad for medical check-up today. As of now, I have two official responsibilities and I will continue to carry out both of them.”
“Did the AICC (All India Congress Committee) brief anyone? You are free to speculate, what can I do about it,” Gehlot added.
Meanwhile, the Pilot camp remains upbeat with some even congratulating their leader well in advance. Their tweets indicated that they are hopeful of Pilot becoming the next Rajasthan Chief Minister.
Anirudh Singh, the son of state minister Vishvendra Singh, who had openly rebelled against his father to stand in solidarity with Pilot, added a crown pic to his twitter profile.
Sushil Asopa, senior state Congress leader and a staunch supporter of Pilot, tweeted, “The people of Rajasthan no longer trust the channels, they know that public demands Sachin Pilot.”
Another Pilot supporter and MLA from Viratnagar, Indraj Gurjar, retweeted a post put up by a Pilot supporter, saying: “Pasine se jo likhte hain apne iradon ko, unke mukaddar kabhi kore nahin hua karte (Those who write their destiny with sweat never fail in their attempt).”
Gurjar also tagged Sachin pilot and ‘Rajasthan Ka Pilot’ in his post.
Meanwhile, political experts feel that while Gehlot has clearly indicated that he is not leaving Rajasthan, he has also kept his options open by asking people to wait till a final decision is made.
On several occasions earlier, Gehlot had said that he is not in the race to become the Congress President, demanding Rahul Gandhi assume the role. However, the Rajasthan Chief Minister didn’t take Rahul Gandhi’s name in his remarks on Wednesday.
By Archana Sharma