Refusing to learn from his previous mistakes, former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot threw an open challenge of public mandate at CM Vasundhara Raje. While addressing a public gathering at the historic Clock Tower Market in Jodhpur, Ashok Gehlot challenged Raje that if she wins the upcoming 2018 Rajasthan state assembly elections, he’ll quit politics forever. With this daring (but foolish) proclamation, Rajasthan Congress should probably brace up for Gehlot’s impending retirement.
Seeing that Raje’s popularity is increasing every day, it was foolish of Gehlot to make fancy statements in public. When Raje wins the state assembly elections, Gehlot will be left with just two options– either quit politics and foot to Himalayas or stay around and be the subject of political jokes and memes in future.
Gehlot’s Fancy Statements Failed to make an Impact on the Masses
Gehlot, who repeatedly slammed Raje for spending public money on her third anniversary probably forgot about his ostentatious ad campaign worth 500-crores. ‘Pehli Baar Hua Rajasthan Mein’ fell flat on their faces when the public rejected the ‘pehli’ party in Indian political history that is Rajasthan Congress.
Albeit we couldn’t gauge the reason behind Gehlot’s overconfidence. It’s a universal fact that he was dropped thrice from the Union Ministry due to his incompetence as an MP. As a CM, it was sheer luck that got him through 1998 elections while Raje relied on her developmental schemes and the ability to connect with the masses. The former CM himself admitted that Congress won the 1998 elections because of strong anti-incumbency against late Shekhawat.
In 2008, it was ex-PCC Chief C.P. Joshi who saved the party’s grace in Rajasthan. Joshi’s effective marketing management brought Gehlot back in power, but on a narrow margin. Regardless, Gehlot’s sloppy governance seemed puny compared to Vasundhara Raje’s visionary administration.
Gehlot Needs a Reality Check, Perhaps he could learn from his Past Mistakes
As a CM, Gehlot brought no value addition to the party, specifically in terms of foreign investments that failed to raise money for the state. He was infamous for making flamboyant promises without actually delivering them on ground. Besides, he had this bad habit of delaying schemes until the election year, perhaps because he thought late results would translate into votes. However, it’s clear that this habit didn’t sit well with the public that totally wiped him out of the game.
Gehlot’s freebies did increase the ‘feel good’ quotient of BPL families for some time, but they gradually switched their loyalties to Raje government, seeing that ‘Bhamashah’, ‘Annapurna’, ‘Rajshree’ and ‘Jal Swavlamban’ were much effective in their case. During his tenure, Rajasthan emerged as a leading centre for scams and scandals with biggies like ‘Bhanwari Devi murder mystery’, ‘Jodhpur Mine’ and ‘108 Ambulance’ scams adding to the never-ending list.
To sum it up, Gehlot miserably failed due to his ineffective governance and visionless policies whereas Raje’s ambitious schemes resulted in her momentous victory in 2013 state assembly elections.
In the recent turn of events, Gehlot must understand that launching pretty faces like Pilot won’t do much good in his case. Also, with the increasing in-house tussle between the party members, Congress is actually facing the possibility of getting obliterated from Rajasthan’s political map. It’s high time that they must realize it.