‘The Khan Market gang is far removed from what real Bharat is and Pilot couldn’t be a Rajasthani leader in the real sense of the term’.


New Delhi: Once Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used the jibe “Khan Market gang” and “Lutyens zone” to mock his political adversaries and India’s English speaking elite. In an interview, Modi had said that his “image hasn’t been created by the Khan Market gang, or Lutyens Delhi, but 45 years of his toil”. This was much to the chagrin of the Khan Market and Lutyens’ Delhi circles. Now, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has come up with the same observations. He took a dig at English elites, including his former deputy and Congress rebel Sachin Pilot and Khan Market media, saying: “Speaking good English and being handsome are not everything in politics.”

Gehlot’s dig was also at the English media as he said that such journalism is one-sided, regardless of truth. Both Modi and Gehlot are Hindi-speaking leaders and have established themselves politically by dint of hard work. Now, politics has undergone a sea change in the country over the last few years. BJP has adapted itself to the change and is therefore at the zenith. On the contrary, Congress has not accepted the changing times and is, therefore, at the nadir. The Congress is still entangled in the Khan Market glamorous politics. Hence, it’s missing the pulse of the real India. It’s a known fact that the Khan Market gang is far removed from what real Bharat is. It lives in a make-believe world that is averse to the Hindi belt. Khan Market circles never like leaders from a rural background. That’s why Gehlot’s potshot at the English elites hasn’t gone down well with the Khan Market gang.

In a sense, the political tug of war in Rajasthan is between English centric class and Hindi. The glaring example of how English elitist mindset caught hold of Sachin Pilot is that he could not be a Rajasthani leader in the real sense of the term despite being at the helm of Congress in the state for five years. He was always seen as a celebrity with no mass connect. Obsessed with Delhi politics, Pilot over depended on English media operating limited circles of Lutyens’ Delhi. And this turned out to be a blunder by Pilot. Even worse, Sachin Pilot made political moves based on the feedback of this media section. He kept firing salvos at Ashok Gehlot on the basis of inputs given by the elite class of media. He ended up getting nothing. At the time of Rajasthan election, Pilot tried to block Ashok Gehlot from becoming Chief Minister by suggesting that no veterans should be allowed to fight polls. But he couldn’t convince Rahul Gandhi. But it led to infighting which cost the Congress which could reach majority mark with great difficulty. Pilot also fought for CM post and the tussle came out in the open. Pilot’s pressure politics led him nowhere. Gehlot also kept a close eye on the activities leading to a plot to topple his government.

Politically sagacious Gehlot was aware that all isn’t well in the BJP too. Vasundhara was upset by being sidelined and new leaders getting prominence. Gehlot got his moves right and thwarted the attempt to overthrow his government. Gehlot got an upper hand with the emergence of audio tapes allegedly exposing BJP.

There’s no denying that Congress could get back to power in Rajasthan riding on Gehlot’s popularity. But Pilot couldn’t read the undercurrent purely because of his dependence on elite khan market media whose reporting happens to be away from ground reality. Now Pilot’s dilemma is where he should go.

His chances of coming back to Congress are dim. If he joins BJP, he will have to leave Rajasthan. The Third Front has no scope in Rajasthan. In what is a setback to Pilot, strong BJP leader Vasundhara is averse to any idea of toppling the present Gehlot dispensation.