Dinner Diplomacy

Amid feeble intraparty relations, venomous statements & unhealthy competition, Congress leaders need to work on their bonds.

Tired of in-house politics and rivalry, state unit in-charge Gurudas Kamat proposed the idea of a lavish dinner for Congress leaders to sort their mess. The ‘brotherly’ banquet targeted scrappy members like Pilot and Gehlot, in an attempt to bring them closer. What could’ve been a friendly get-together hosted by formed Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, turned into a disaster in the absence of prominent leaders like Chandresh Kumari, Mohan Prakash and AICC general secretary Dr. C.P. Joshi.

Was it an innocent blooper from Gehlot’s side or a clever last-minute change in plan, only time can tell. The bigger question is who will lead Congress’s flagship amidst this hostility? Will the party  give into the growing charm of the ‘Rani of Reforms’ in Rajasthan?

Trouble in Rajasthan Congress’s Happy Paradise?

Issues started within the party, back in 2003. Following the humiliating defeat of Congress in state elections, Gehlot relocated to work with the high command in New Delhi, a clever attempt on his part to ensure none of the leaders of CLP or PCC could grab his position in Rajasthan. In his absence, Joshi opted to stay on and deliver important winnings for the party, emerging as a solid contender for CM post in the next upcoming elections.

Also Read: Congress Dinner Diplomacy in Rajasthan

Also, with growing popularity of PCC Pradesh Pilot after party protests against power hike in Jaipur and the way he lured workers from Rajasthan to Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Delhi, he’s Junior Gandhi’s obvious choice for the CM post.

Seeing the rising demand of other leaders within party, Gehlot diverted his attention back to Rajasthan, for the fear of losing his space in the state, which he had monopolised for two long decades. And so, the dinner was hosted to come out clear as the pleasant, welcoming host, though a few party members were left wondering why they weren’t invited to this happy bash.

Another thing that attracted media’s attention was the ‘friendly pre-planned exchange of words between Singh and Gehlot. They were best friends forever and confidants during political crisis. Recently, Singh publicly advised Gehlot to move to the Centre, who hit back by subtly advising Singh to mind his own business; ‘Had Singh focused on Madhya Pradesh, the party would’ve been in a better position’. One statement led to the other and the entire party came out with explanations regarding this controversy. Despite what the insiders say, they cannot negate the fact, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire“.

Gehlot’s conspicuous absence from Rahul’s rally, Khachariyawas acting as Pilot’s PR on Jaipur streets and Joshi’s ‘No Comment’ policy speaks volume of the inner party feuds. While everyone’s busy attracting public’s attention, the question remains, who’s more popular and powerful enough to face Raje’s powerful hold over Rajasthan. It’s necessary for Congress leaders to tie up loose strings before the upcoming elections in 2018. Unresolved feuds and public sarcasm may lead the party towards another humiliating victory in future.