High Command has only itself to blame for mess in Congress

What was supposed to be a question of who will become the next Congress president has now been reduced to who will be the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan!

Sonia Gandhi and Ashok Gehlot (File Pic)

The Congress high command (read the Gandhis) has only itself to blame for the royal mess that it finds itself in. It should have seen what is coming when it chose to back Ashok Gehlot for the party president’s post even as it maintained a facade of neutrality. Wily old fox that Gehlot is, he was quick to see through the move to install Sachin Pilot, his bete noire, as the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan after ‘kicking him upstairs’ as the party chief and so predictably initiated a countermove to prevent such an eventuality. The result: what was supposed to be a question of who will become the next Congress president has now been reduced to who will be the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan!

That the Gandhis had no intention of remaining ‘neutral’ and giving a level playing field to all prospective candidates for the party president’s post – as it had publicly proclaimed - was clear when it slyly lent its weight behind the Rajasthan Chief Minister. But what it had obviously not bargained for was the extent to which Gehlot would go to install a loyalist as the next Chief Minister of his state. And Gehlot can hardly be faulted for his move to protect his home turf. After all, there was nothing incongruous about Gehlot trying to rule Rajasthan by proxy when the Gandhis themselves intended to do the same with him as the first non-Gandhi president of the Congress in decades.