After Capt Amarinder Singh, clock ticking for Gehlot, Baghel?


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: With a tough stand taken by party high command to end power tussle in Punjab, the focus will now be to settle internal feud in two other Congress-ruled states – Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – where the party is facing similar trouble over power-sharing.

A senior Congress leader said that the decision taken by party high command asking Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to step down is a signal to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel who are entwined in similar battles in respective states.  Like Punjab, the party has been trying, by all means, to amicably settle the differences between leadership but may have to end up taking an adverse stand if nothing works.   

There has been growing trouble between Gehlot and former Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot, who has been pushing for a change of guards. A temporary truce formula was worked out between the two after a botched coup attempt by Pilot in 2020. 

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“Gehlot has been not agreeing to the formula of cabinet expansion to induct MLAs from Pilot’s camp and on other posts. This is when several missives have been sent to him and the central team has visited the state. He is not even coming to Delhi, citing some or other reasons. The next focus in coming days will be on Rajasthan to settle troubles in the state,” said sources.

Ajay Maken, AICC in-charge of Rajasthan, Friday said that the roadmap for cabinet expansion in the state is ready and has been delayed due to Gehlot’s health, who recently underwent angioplasty.   

The party high command is also keeping an eye on issues in Chhattisgarh where Baghel and his cabinet minister TS Singh Deo are at crossroads over the change of guards. Former Congress chief Rahu Gandhi has held a series of meetings with both the leaders over the promise of rotational CM made to Deo at the time of government formation in 2017.

“Baghel has been given a lifeline for time being and Deo has been assured that the promise of rotational CM will be fulfilled. We may see some progress in this regard after the assembly elections,” said another party leader.    

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