Sonia Gandhi is not known to show her anger publicly, but those who know say that when she does, it means trouble and a determination to do whatever it takes.
So when the observers went to meet her, it was an angry Congress president who confronted them. Sources say she expressed her displeasure and anger and asked, “How could he do this?” In a clear reference to Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the top leadership is not keen to have him file his nomination papers for the party president polls. In fact, even if Gehlot wants to do it, many have made up their mind not to vote for him.
For the Gandhis, there has been a trust issue as they have felt let down by many party colleagues, which is why those who know Sonia say she prefers to now take calls with her family being given priority. But Ashok Gehlot was always seen as a loyalist and a troubleshooter for the Gandhis. Whether it was the Punjab crisis, or the so-called G-23, or Ghulam Nabi Azad hitting out at the Gandhis, it was Gehlot with his experience and seniority who had been fielded to defend the Gandhis. So when Gehlot’s men embarrassed the Gandhis, it was tough for Sonia Gandhi to accept it.
Sources say she is open to the idea of taking action against some of the MLAs. This is why she has asked for a written report on the sequence of events in Jaipur. The 40-day rebellion by Sachin Pilot did not go down well with the Gandhis then. But he managed to impress them by being in line since then. However, the one-day rebellion of some of the MLAs has turned the Gandhis’ anger on Gehlot as well. So much so, a gentle message is being spread to delegates not to support Gehlot in case he decides to file nomination for the president’s post.
Sources say that the Gandhis have now begun to look for options as to who can contest for the party president’s post. It’s not an easy task, but there is little choice before the Gandhis.