October 23, 2013 1:15:18 am
When the local media reported on Tuesday that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlots son,Vaibhav,is poised to enter active politics,Gehlot junior was only amused. About nine years ago,they had headlines saying I was entering active politics. Today again I read how I am getting into active politics. Let me clarify I have been in active politics for quite some time now, he told The Indian Express.
The buzz was created after Vaibhavs name was announced in the 21-member media committee formed on Monday. The committee will be responsible for handling the partys publicity through print and electronic media with an emphasis on social media in the upcoming assembly polls. Although Vaibhav is yet to be assigned a role in the committee,it is speculated that this will be his launchpad and will prepare him for probable candidature in the upcoming assembly or even the parliamentary polls slated next year.
Rumour mills also have it that this will be Vaibhavs route to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhis team of youth leaders.
Vaibhav,however,insisted he has been around for a considerable period of time and now,in his 30s,he is only set to take more responsibility. He recounted how as a teenager he came down from his school,Air Force Bal Bharti in New Delhi,to Jodhpur to campaign for his father in 1998. Though at that time he only managed the logistics for his father in his home constituency,Sardarpura,over the years he joined Youth Congress and later the Pradesh Congress Committee.
I was actively involved in the civic elections in Jodhpur in 2004 and in 2006 formally joined the Youth Congress from there. About three-and-half years ago I joined the Pradesh Congress Committee from C P Joshis constituency in Nathdwara. I have also been working closely with him in the Rajasthan Cricket Association where I have been a part of the organising committee over the last two years. I have campaigned for my father in the assembly elections of 1998,2003 and 2008. I have always been right here,in the heart of state politics, said Vaibhav.
A law graduate from ILS Law College,Pune,Vaibhav maintained his distance as well as silence in the media over the years as his father fiercely guarded his personal life and rarely mentioned his wife or son in public. Even as Vaibhav is now touted to be vying for a ticket,his father rarely ever mentions him in any of the political meetings,said party insiders.
Asked whether he is preparing to seek a ticket in the upcoming assembly elections,Vaibhav said,That is for the party to decide. I am not in a position to comment on that. For now I have been chosen as a member in the media committee. Our roles are yet to be decided in the committee. It was formed just a day ago. But our work will include everything related to the publicity campaign and research and analysis.
The BJP-led opposition has often targeted Vaibhav,alleging that his father gave undue favours to Om Metals Private Limited,a firm in which Vaibhav worked as a consultant. Vaibhav said,The opposition has been making the same baseless allegations over the past two years but has been unable to prove anything. My father has responded to all the allegations and as for me,I am ready to face any inquiry into the alleged irregularities. I worked only as an intern in the firm.
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