Ashok Gehlot's son enters the field

Ashok Gehlot's son enters the field

Vaibhav joins state cricket body to start political run

Vaibhav Gehlot, son of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, could be the latest of the political progeny making a foray into the glamorous cricket world.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot

Recently, he was inducted into the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) executive committee as a special invitee by its president and Union minister C P Joshi. The move assumes larger political implications for the state.

Political observers say it is not just a truce between Joshi and Gehlot to defeat a common enemy — former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. The move also signals Vaibhav’s foray into active politics.

Recently, Lalit Modi had expressed his readiness to bury the hatchet with IAS officer Sanjay Dixit, suggesting it was for the betterment of cricket in the state. The RCA election is also just a year away.

Joshi, a one-time loyalist of Gehlot, had been distancing himself from the Gehlot camp after becoming Union minister and RCA president. Joshi wanted to show himself as an alternative to chief minister.

But Gehlot not only managed to cut Joshi to size, first by shifting him from the high-profile rural development ministry to road transport, but was able to engineer a rebellion within the RCA with secretary and IAS officer Sanjay Dixit turning against Joshi.

Joshi won the RCA presidentship defeating former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi with the support of Sanjay Dixit and  tacit backing of from the government. But soon after both of them fell apart, and left the state cricketing body.

Finally, Joshi won a temporary victory with the state government’s intervention. Dixit has been suspended from the post of general secretary.

Joshi, who was expecting a change of guard in the state in the aftermath of the Gopalgarh incident, realised that there was no immediate vacancy in the state. 

The Congress high command was also not in a mood to dump Gehlot, though the government’s performance has been average. The party believes that a tried and tested Gehlot is the best bet than an untested Joshi.

Besides, Joshi’s record as a Union minister has not been inspiring.

Joshi, who is a novice in cricket administration, realised that he could not take on the might of the combined strength of former IPL commissioner Modi and Sanjay Dixit without the help of Gehlot.

At a recent public programme, he clarified that his statement — “I am no longer a camp follower of Gehlot but a collaborator” — which he made after becoming Union minister in Udaipur, was quoted out of context by the media.

It suits Gehlot as well. His son Vaibhav is not active in politics. But a Congress leader  said, “Perhaps, this is an indication that the time has come for him and he should make his way into active politics through cricket”.