Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, whose first love is said to be magic, is sure to have some surprising trick up his sleeve as he faces a political crisis, believes his old friend S K Nigam.
Not many people know that Gehlot, a veteran Congressman now locked in a turf battle with Sachin Pilot, once used to assist his father, renowned magician Laxman Singh Gehlot, on stage.
"I have taught Ashok Gehlot some magic tricks, and have learnt some mind-blowing tricks from him in return," said
73-year-old Nigam, a veteran magician who lives in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur district.
"I am hopeful that he would weather this political storm," Nigam told PTI over phone.
"Before he joined politics, he would be by the side of his father, magician Laxman Singh Gehlot," Nigam said, adding that the Gehlot senior had also been elected as president of a civic body in Rajasthan.
"Even after entering politics, Ashok-ji did not lose interest in magic. Magic is his first love. He was very happy
when I invited him to Jabalpur for the All India Women's Magic Competition in 1983 when he was Union minister," Nigam recalled.
Rasheed Kidwai, the author of "Sonia, A Biography", said if Congress insiders were to be believed, Ashok Gehlot used to perform magic tricks for young Rahul and Priyanka in the presence of their grandmother, former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
When his father traveled across the country to stage magic shows, a young Ashok Gehlot would accompany him as his assistant and perform tricks on stage himself too, Kidwai said.
According to Kidwai, Gehlot had once said that had he not entered politics at the behest of Indira Gandhi, he would have become a magician and a social worker.
"Let's see if the spell that he has cast on his party's leadership works against his adversaries," Kidwai said.