After Rajasthan minister Ashok Chandna demanded to be removed from office on Thursday, BJP state unit chairman Satish Poonia lashed out at the Congress party. Twice a Member of Parliament for the seat of Hindoli, Chandna holds independent charge of Sports and Youth Affairs and Skills, Employment and Entrepreneurship in addition to being Minister of State for DIPR, Management of disasters and relief, the department of administrative reforms and coordination, statistics and policy planning. . In a sensational accusation, he accused Chief Secretary of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot Kuldeep Ranka of indirectly controlling all ministries.
Ashok Chandna said, “I request the honorable Chief Minister to relieve me from this dishonorable ministerial post and entrust the charge of all my departments to Shri Kuldeep Ranka Ji. He is the minister of all departments anyway” . Commenting on this, Rajasthan BJP leader Satish Poonia said, “The ship is sinking…Trends for 2023 have started to arrive.” It was a reference to his belief that Congress is set to lose the 2023 polls in Rajasthan.
Political scenario in Rajasthan
In the 2018 elections, the Congress won 100 seats in the 200-member Assembly, compared to 73 seats for the BJP. However, there was disappointment in Sachin’s pilot camp as MP Tonk had to settle for the post of Deputy CM while he was Chairman of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee. In July 2020, he fell out of favor after briefly leading a rebellion to pressure the Congress high command to replace Ashok Gehlot as chief minister. Although he has managed to mend fences with the party’s top brass, he has yet to receive an official role in the organization.
Sources said Pilot gave Congresswoman Sonia Gandhi an ultimatum to change the direction of the state at their April 21 meeting, citing the party would lose all polls under Gehlot. Speaking to the media after the meeting, he said: “Rajasthan is a state where every 5 years there is a change of government and I think if we do the right things like we started doing, an AICC committee was formed two years ago, through which steps have been taken in the right direction. We need to move further in this direction for the Congress to win the 2023 elections in Rajasthan.”
Meanwhile, the BJP has also been facing an internal crisis since 2018 with Vasundhara Raje reducing his involvement in political activities amid his rumored breakup with Poonia. In fact, former BJP ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party has accused Raje of trying to save the Congress government in Rajasthan during the Pilot Rebellion. In recent months, clamor has grown within the BJP to officially announce him as the party’s CM candidate in the 2023 elections. It should be noted that Gehlot failed to bring the Congress back to power in 2003 as well as in 2013 when he was CM, with Raje leading BJP to a win on both occasions.