The battle for Rajasthan’s reins came to the fore once again when shoes were hurled at CM Ashok Gehlot’s minister Ashok Chandna amid slogans in support of Sachin Pilot during a public meeting before the ashes of Gurjar leader Col Kirodi Singh Bainsla were immersed in Pushkar.
While Chandna has alleged that Pilot got his men to throw shoes at him because he wants to become chief minister, the Gehlot government has denied the incident, irking the minister further who questioned the silence despite viral videos of the incident doing the rounds on social media.
The incident occurred on Monday in Pushkar when Chandna approached the podium to speak during the public meeting but was met with hooting and slogans in support of Pilot. To add insult to injury, shoes were hurled at the minister from the crowd.
Not the First Incident
Before Chandna, another minister — Shakuntala Rawat — was also booed during a public meeting. Sensing opposition, Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot and others returned from the meeting without addressing the crowd.
#WATCH | Ajmer, Rajasthan: Shoes & slippers were allegedly thrown by miscreants in crowds as chants of Sachin pilot emerged during a program of Rajasthan Sports minister Ashok Chandna (12.09) pic.twitter.com/j0NWi7mZUT— ANI (@ANI) September 13, 2022
Agitated Gurjar Youth
Both Chandna and Rawat are considered close to Gehlot, who enjoys the support of the Gurjar community. With a strong buzz in Delhi that Gehlot is slated to take over as Congress president after the Gandhis expressed their lack of interest in the top post, Pilot’s supporters have been canvassing for him to be anointed Rajasthan’s chief minister. In the tussle for power, Gurjar youth have blamed the two ministers for going against the community and not letting Pilot — also a Gurjar — reach the top post.
The BJP has added fuel to the Congress fire, claiming that people are angry with the Gehlot government since it usurped the rights of Pilot.
Fight for Supremacy in Gurjar Community Not New
With Gehlot tipped to assume a bigger role, speculation is rife that BD Kalla and CP Joshi — known to be close to the chief minister — could succeed him in Rajasthan, triggering Pilot’s supporters.
After the death of Col Kirodi Singh Bainsala, Pilot is considered the biggest leader in the community though Bainsala’s son Vijay Bainsala considers himself Pilot’s competitor for the role.