Reported By: Pallavi Ghosh
Last Updated: November 13, 2023, 16:45 IST
Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot being unleashed together could keep anti-incumbency in check somewhat and also cut the losses. (PTI)
There is also a demand that there should be joint campaigns or roadshows by Gehlot and Pilot. This would help balance equations, and in youth areas, where there are about 66 per cent voters in the 18–39 age group, it would help if Pilot was present A letter with a request has created a flutter in the Grand Old Party.
Jamwaramgarh MLA and candidate Gopal Lal Meena has written to Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasara, requesting that Sachin Pilot be deployed to campaign in his constituency. This is nothing unusual, many would say, but the fact that there is a call that Pilot must be unleashed more for campaigns shows that despite the election in the state being largely Ashok Gehlot-centric, there is a growing demand for Pilot by some leaders to campaign in their areas.
The reason is not far to seek. As reported earlier, the slogan, as part of the subtle campaign, is “Gehlot tumse bair nahee, mantri/vidhayak tumhari khair naheen”.
With Gehlot running an aggressive campaign and several Congress schemes like Griha Lakshmi gaining traction, many say what’s pulling the chief minister down is anger and anti-incumbency against some of the sitting MLAs and ministers.
There is a feeling, as expressed by Gopal Meena, that it would help to cut this anti-incumbency in some areas if Pilot was brought in to campaign. Not just this, there is also a demand that there should be joint campaigns or roadshows by Gehlot and Pilot. This would help balance equations, and in youth areas, where there are about 66 per cent voters in the 18–39 age group, it would help if Pilot was present. Gehlot’s strong point remains that women voters are impacted by his campaign.
Joint campaigns would also dent the attacks by the BJP that the state government wasted time in the Gehlot-Pilot rivalry.
So far, the only time the two have shared the stage was when the Gandhis came — like when Priyanka Vadra was in Dausa. In Karnataka, where there was a similar situation, the central leadership ensured that Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar were seen together often. There were occasions when they were together in campaigns — a conscious attempt to project an image of unity.
But unlike in Karnataka, where the Congress was not fighting anti-incumbency, in the case of Rajasthan, there is a cyclical pattern of victory plus anti-incumbency. Pilot and Gehlot being unleashed could keep this somewhat in check and also cut the losses.
Pallavi GhoshPallavi Ghosh has covered politics and Parliament for 15 years, and has reported extensively on Congress, UPA-I and UPA-II, and has now included the F…Read More