Several Congress cadres, dissatisfied with ticket distribution, held a protest outside Rahul Gandhi’s residence in New Delhi
New Delhi: It is a well-established fact that all in not well in the Congress when it comes to Rajasthan. But what happened on the wee hours of Friday has astounded Rahul Gandhi and many in the upper echelon. Moments after the Congress released its first list comprising 152 names for the Rajasthan election, hordes of Congress ticket seekers gheraoed Gandhi's residence at 12 Tughlak Lane in New Delhi.
Delhi: Congress workers who had gathered outside residence of party President Rahul Gandhi after list of candidates for #RajasthanElections2018 was released tonight,detained;say"Instead of parachute candidates, request him to give tickets to those who gave blood&toil to Congress" pic.twitter.com/gv0NJIzVEG— ANI (@ANI) November 15, 2018
The Special Protection Group (SPG) that has been entrusted with the security of the Congress president went into a tizzy and called the Delhi Police who detained the protestors and took them to Tughlaq Road police station. The numbers of dissatisfied Congress cadres were so many that a bus had to be called in to transport them after detention.
One of the protestors told news agency ANI, "Instead of parachute candidates, (we) request him (Rahul Gandhi) to give tickets to those who gave blood and toil to Congress".
Sources say that Gandhi predicted a rebellion - so much so that he cut short his Madhya Pradesh visit, where the Congress is eyeing a comeback riding on BJP's anti-incumbency. The Congress president had called a Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting on Friday evening to discuss the situation in Rajasthan. Gandhi had to cancel his road show in Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh for this emergency meeting.
Sources also say that he is likely to meet some prominent Congress leaders from Rajasthan who are unhappy with ticket distribution, after the CEC. This will be to persuade them to not rebel. The CEC meeting will take place at 8 pm on Thursday, soon after Gandhi wraps up his MP tour prematurely to head back to the national capital.
This crisis is unfurling at a time when Gandhi had to get two warring parties - Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot to bring on a common platform. It’s no secret that both see themselves as the Chief Minister. Both are contesting elections from Rajasthan with Pilot from Gujjar-Muslim heavy Tonk and Gehlot from Sardarpura (Jodhpur). Battling a complex situation where both leaders have their own caste following, the Congress didn't project any CM face for the state.
But with a possible rebellion at constituency level where many dissatisfied Congress cadres are filing independent nominations, Gandhi is facing an unprecedented crisis in a state where the BJP is battling anti-incumbency.
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Last Updated Nov 16, 2018, 6:37 PM IST