Rahul wants young blood in Rajasthan party unit

The meeting of chief minister Ashok Gehlot with party general secretary Rahul Gandhi in Delhi recently has triggered speculation of a reshuffle in the organisational set-up in the state.

There were reports that Rahul is in favour of bringing in young blood to the party organisation to infuse a energy in the state unit.

Presently, Congress has no mass leader except Gehlot which is not a good preposition for the party in the 2014 Assembly elections, as the performance of the Gehlot government is not up to the mark.

“Congress cannot not afford to pin all its hopes on Gehlot any longer. He is surviving as chief minister as there is no alternative. The performance of his government rated as  ‘average’,” said a Congress leader. The party is doubtful whether Gehlot can bring back the Congress in power in the 2014 Assembly elections.

 According to sources, the party is seriously considering giving more responsibility to younger folk like Sachin Pilot or Jitendra Singh in the party organisation and project them as next generation leaders in the Assembly elections.

The advantage with Sachin Pilot is that he is not viewed as a representative of any community but has an acceptance level cutting across community and castes.

According to sources, party leaders were not very happy with the performance of the Pradesh Congress Committee president Dr Chandraban.

His plain speaking has not gone down well with the chief minister either and his efforts to galvanise the party by organising district and divisional level meetings have only intensified local level group fights.

A leader said, “Present PCC president Chandrabhan is considered a stooge of Gehlot. He does not have a mass base and even the Jat community to which he belongs would not vote for Congress with him at the helm of affairs. So if Congress is targeting the Jats, it is better to go for someone acceptable to the Jats.”

The meeting also assumed importance as this was probably the first time that Rahul gave an exclusive hearing to Gehlot after the Gopalgarh firing incident in September, 2011. The chief minister had then earned the ire of Rahul for antagonising the Muslim community in Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh just before the important UP assembly elections.

Congress sources said Gehlot was now gradually making his way into the Rahul camp that already has its key members planning poll strategies in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura, which are going to the polls later this year.

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