Following the truce between Congress factions of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, the party is likely to face an uphill task in revamping its organisational structure in the state.
According to party leaders, an organisational revamp is expected soon, as most organisational posts are vacant ever since Education minister Govind Singh Dotasara was made the party’s state unit president after Pilot’s removal from the post.
“After Pilot was removed as party president, office-bearers in several district and block Congress committees also resigned from their posts in solidarity. It will be a challenge for the party to accommodate loyalists from both Gehlot and Pilot camps when committees and departments within the party are reconstituted,” a senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.
After Pilot and 18 party MLAs loyal to him rebelled last month, camping in Delhi and Haryana, he was removed as deputy CM, as also from his post of Rajasthan Congress president, on July 14.
Congress’s Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pandey had subsequently dissolved the entire state executive of the party along with all departments and cells. Thereafter, all district and block Congress committees were also dissolved.
The party took the decision to dissolve all its bodies after a spate of resignations by Pilot loyalists after his removal.
Along with mass resignations in district Congress committees – Dausa and Tonk, among others – several office-bearers of the state executive of the Congress also quit. Most of these leaders were close to Pilot and were entrusted with significant posts in the party during his tenure as state chief for more than six years.
Among others, former MP Gopal Singh Shekhawat resigned as vice president of state Congress, as did Mahesh Sharma, as general secretary (organisation).
Legislators Mukesh Bhakar and Rakesh Pareek, who were among the18 MLAs siding with Pilot, were removed from their posts of state presidents of Youth Congress and Sewa Dal, respectively, and replaced with others.
“For the past one and half years, many Congress workers were already dissatisfied because political appointments in several commissions and boards were not taking place due to the tussle between Gehlot and Pilot camps, as each faction vetoed nominees of the other. If this dissatisfaction continues among leaders and workers, it can adversely impact our performance in civic and Panchayat elections,” the Congress leader said.
The party has also replaced Rajasthan in-charge Pandey with senior Congress leader Ajay Maken. Congress sources say during the revamp of the organisational structure, Maken’s inputs will be crucial since the party high command is keen on presenting a united front and accommodating leaders from both factions.
New state unit chief Dotasara, meanwhile, denied that events of the past one month could affect the party.
“Whatever happened over the last one month will not affect the party, as the issue has been resolved and all of us stand united,” he told The Indian Express. “Our focus now is to inject fresh energy into our organisation and strengthen it. We will listen to all suggestions of Congress workers and address their issues through meetings at various levels such as executive, district and block.”
The government will be informed about these suggestions, he said.
Dotasara said reconstitution of these organisations will be done soon, after taking feedback from party workers from across the state.
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