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Of Politics, Magic and Ashok Gehlot

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The way he handled the political crisis in Rajasthan not only proves his leadership qualities but also his crisis management skills. It was really a difficult phase for Gehlot, but he finally came out a winner. His stature has grown both in the state as well as on the national scene. People who might have not known Gehlot fully now know that he is capable of handling any kind of crisis successfully.

By Anil Sharma

It is often said that leadership is put to the test during times of crisis. Senior Congress leader and chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot has proved it by aptly handling the political crisis, the Congress faced recently in the state.

The way he handled the political crisis in Rajasthan not only proves his leadership qualities but also his crisis management skills. It was really a difficult phase for Gehlot, but he finally came out a winner. His stature has grown both in the state as well as on the national scene. People who might have not known Gehlot fully now know that he is capable of handling any kind of crisis successfully.

The crisis started almost a month ago when 19 of the Congress MLAs including deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot turned rebels and went to neighbouring state Haryana where they stayed in a hotel and inspite of constant requests refused to come back and attend Congress Legislature party meetings.

Gehlot alleged that it was part of the BJP's game plan to destabilize his government in the state. He took 100 of his supporting MLAs to a hotel on the outskirts of Jaipur and then flew them down to a hotel in Jaisalmer. He did this exercise for keeping his flock together.

It was really a great effort since  Gehlot was able to keep his flock together for over a month almost, despite facing various pressures. His brother in Jodhpur faced ED raids allegedly relating to a fertiliser scam while a couple of his colleagues faced IT raids and the hotel in Jaipur where Congress MLAs were staying faced with various probes. But Gehlot did not lose his cool and continued his work with firm determination to save Congress government in Rajasthan.

It was because of political astuteness and pre-emptive steps taken by Ashok Gehlot that the Congress government in Rajasthan has survived.

Gehlot in fact proved that when it comes to political sharpness he is one of the best in the country. It was Gehlot who while being Congress's Gujarat in-charge during assembly polls in Narendra Modi-Amit Shah home state had won praise for the Congress’ good show in the Gujarat elections.

He was also the head of the Congress screening committee for Punjab assembly polls, where too Congress performed exceedingly well.

As for now, everything looks good in the Rajasthan Congress party after Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi intervened; but for how long is a million-dollar question. Nevertheless, with Gehlot at the helm of affairs in Rajasthan, one thing Congress hi-command should be sure of that the Congress should be able to complete its full tenure though it may face some hiccups.

To end it must be said that Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot ka jaadu (magic) chal gaya, aur sab dekhte rah gaye. Gehlot's father was a magician and he also tried his hands in magic, but in the true sense he is the “political magician". No doubt, he was already one of the most respected leaders in the Congress but now he would command even more respect in his party.

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