Cong rift in Rajasthan seeps in to drag governance

Ashok Gehlot, Rahul Gandhi and Sachin Pilot

Jaipur: That the Rajasthan Congress is divided into two camps is an open secret now, however, the worrying fact is that the split is affecting governance too.

The state is in a mess. It tops the corruption charts, it again tops the crime list against women and also the unemployment index.

At present, the state government is trying to save face after the horrific murder of a tailor in Udaipur in broad daylight in a busy market.

With questions being asked about the state machinery, intelligence failure and police negligence, the state government has had to transfer 32 IPS officers overnight.

Questions are being raised about intelligence failure as it was clueless about the incident. Even at a time when the video of the threat being given to the tailor was posted on social media, no action was taken.

Also, the police did not act when the tailor Kanhaiya Lal lodged a complaint alleging that he was receiving threats.

Bharatiya Janata Party state president Satish Poonia said that the state intelligence agencies remain busy snooping on ruling party MLAs and hence have no time to look into other issues.

The comment came in the wake of an intelligence team 'looking after' the Congress MLAs camping in a five-star hotel during the Rajya Sabha polls. The team was deputed to ensure that none of the MLAs gets poached by the opposition.

Also, during the Congress rebellion, the SOG had filed a case against the Pilot camp which was later taken back. The matter again showed the state government in a poor light.

This was not the first time when Congress MLAs were seen doubting their own colleagues.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused his former deputy CM Sachin Pilot of being hand in glove with Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in planning the rebellion in 2020 for toppling the state government.

State minister Shantilal Dhariwal supported Gehlot's statement doubting their own MLA and former deputy CM.

Further, senior MLA Rajendra Singh Bidhuri accused the state government of inefficiency after he received a death threat.

Bidhuri, MLA from Begun in Chittorgarh, said, "A person from Kota makes constant threats against me on social media. I had complained about this three months ago, but neither has the government done anything nor the police of Chittorgarh. When an MLA is not safe then how will the people of Rajasthan be safe," he added.

With such statements, there seems no let up in attacks from Congress's own MLAs. The Congress government recently drew flak from its MLA Bharat Singh from Sangod Assembly seat in Kota district who wrote a letter to Gehlot expressing unhappiness with his own government for withdrawing a case filed against 4 BJP MLAs in protest against Agnipath. The former minister in the letter said that if such cases are to be withdrawn and relief has to be provided to the MLAs, then all the cases registered against the public in the state should also be withdrawn.

Exposing the rifts further, state minister Dhariwal recently raised questions about the party, asking why education minister BD Kalla was fielded by the Congress when he had lost two elections earlier.

The list of MLAs fighting against their own government seems to be growing longer as there is no strong leadership to check such issues at the higher level.

Eventually, the sufferers are the poor citizens who trusted the party and voted for it to form the government. Silently, they are watching the games which the MLAs are playing with ministers and may be they are making up their minds for the assembly polls scheduled in December next year.

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