Party wants to give message to TMC, BJP and other opponents.


New Delhi: The Congress “mega” rally to be held on Sunday in Jaipur is being seen as an important development on several counts. First, the Congress will give a message through the rally that it will challenge the Modi government on its own. Secondly, this will be a message also to the political forces like BJP and TMC which are allegedly seeking to weaken the Congress. Third, it will be another test for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s popularity.  If the rally comes out as a huge success, then Gehlot’s stature will grow all the more.

In this case, the Gehlot government will gain a lot of strength. Congress former president Rahul Gandhi, who is visible in every poster in Rajasthan capital, is likely to address the rally. It appears to be an event to launch Rahul Gandhi afresh in a big way and re-energize the party. Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi may also address the rally.

The Congress is hopeful of its return in Rajasthan in view of the Gehlot government’s work. Significantly, Ashok Gehlot is not only strengthening his hold on the party organization but also attacking the BJP leaders. Moreover, the factionalism in the BJP will benefit the Congress.

There is no denying that the Opposition has lost a big issue after the repeal of the three farm laws by the Modi government. Moreover, the reduction in fuel prices by the government is also an attempt to take the wind out of the opposition’s sail. However, CM Gehlot believes that this is not going to help the Modi government. He says the government is on the back foot due to fear of losing elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh. He further says that it is for the first time in the history of India that hundreds of farmers lost their lives on roads. The government has closed eyes to how the common man is reeling under massive price rise, says Gehlot, adding that the countdown of the Central government will begin after this rally which will be attended by the party heavyweights.

However, pulling crowds for the rally is a big challenge for Gehlot, Ajay Maken and Govind Singh Dotasra. Several ministers and regional in-charges have been given this responsibility. Gathering people will be a more challenging task in view of Covid-related restrictions.

The rally will be an opportunity for the Congress to try to reassert itself in the national politics amid the bids by other parties to isolate it. Recently, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee was seen active in a way so as to “weaken” the Congress—so big and successful rallies are being seen as only a political weapon for the Congress to defend itself. It will be a show of strength for the party. The rally was planned for Delhi earlier but was shifted to Jaipur. Congress has alleged that the Center did not permit it in Delhi. Gehlot readily agreed to hold it in Jaipur after the Congress high command told him the problem. Gehlot will gain a lot from this rally even though it is focused on the central issues. He will be given full credit if the rally is successful. Observers believe that the internal tussle will be over after the success of the rally. Congress high command wants groupism to end as the party is facing faction fighting in various states. The Congress will use the rally to target the poll-bound states as well.  Congress strategists believe that the party is going to form governments in Punjab and Uttarakhand. They also feel that if BJP loses UP it will be a good augury for the Congress for future elections. Similarly, Congress may gain from BJP’s infighting in Rajasthan. The saffron party may split there as well.

Assembly polls in Rajasthan will be held in 2023 but the parties have started gearing up for the fight now. Union home minister Amit Shah’s 5 December rally in Jaipur has already heated up state politics. Even as Shah slammed the Gehlot government, Congress got united to return fire and targeted the Central government. Falsifying Shah’s claims, CM Gehlot accused Shah of making false and misleading statements. He said that fuel prices were reduced, the poor were given help and oxygen plants were set up in Rajasthan. He said that it was not expected from the home minister to make such irresponsible comments.

Gehlot said that false propaganda of the central ministers has resulted in the BJP finishing third and fourth in the state. By referring to the Sanjivani Credit Scam worth Rs 953 crore, the CM has hinted that the Congress will come down heavily on BJP in the Jaipur rally. Gehlot has again raked up the bungling charges against Central minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.