Ashok ji ko 100 se zyada speed mein gadi chalana pasand nahi hai,” said a close confidante of Ashok Gehlot as results of the last assembly polls in Rajasthan started pouring in. Just one short of 100, the half way mark in the state assembly, Gehlot was back in the driver’s seat for the third time.
And every time he has taken oath as CM, Gehlot had managed to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. In 1998, he trounced the Jat strongman from Jodhpur, Paras Ram Maderna, with a little help from the central observer and former LS speaker Balram Jakhar. It was obvious a section of the local Jat leadership backed Gehlot, the then Pradesh Congress President to thwart Maderna’s prospects.
Two ministers who have joined him in his revolt were also dropped. Sachin Pilot was “ensnared” by the BJP to bring down the Ashok Gehlot government, the Congress said, announcing his expulsion from the cabinet. Sachin Pilot, whose demands reportedly included Chief Ministership, is set to be the next high-profile exit from the Congress after Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Responding to allegations leveled by Congress leaders regarding use of government machinery to achieve political ends, Raman Malik, BJP spokesperson, Haryana, said that the party was not into resort politics and if the Congress MLAs had come to the city, it was on their own accord.
HT tried to reach out and get a response from ITC Hotels through email to senior executive, company website and social media but could not elicit a reply on the matter.