Though Congress has lost Gujarat election, the party has got a new stalwart and an impressive poll manager in the form of AICC general secretary and state in-charge Ashok Gehlot. He masterminded the campaign under the leadership of AICC president Rahul Gandhi to give a tough fight to the BJP in its fortress. Going by what unfolded in Gujarat, the Congress is likely to reap benefits of the same in the upcoming Assembly polls in Rajasthan next year and Gehlot could be seen doning the role of Sarathi of Gandhi as well.The appointment of Gehlot as party in-charge of Gujarat campaign gave rise to speculation that he is being shunted out of state politics. A group within the party even started claiming that he has been given a charge of a losing cause as PM Modi is invincible in Gujarat. As BJP’s victory in Gujarat was a forgone conclusion, many believed it will bring down curtains on Gehlot’s political career. Moving Gehlot to Gujarat was also seen by many as clearing the field for PCC chief Sachin Pilot to take reign of the party. “Creating alliances and support base on caste lines in a state was a key move. The Congress had on its side Patidar leader Hardik Patel, OBC community leader Alpesh Thakor as it ally and support from Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani. Gehlot played a major role bringing these leaders on same platform which definitely worked to improve tally of the party. He could be seen in a greater role in the party soon,” said a senior Congress leader reacting to the results. Gehlot worked tirelessly with Gandhi and during this campaign a new chemistry was developed between the two. Although BJP retained power in Gujarat, it will not be seen as a debacle of Gehlot’s campaign because BJP could not cross the hundred mark while Congress increased its tally unlike Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.Ashok Gehlot’s performance in Gujarat will have an impact in his home state Rajasthan, which set to go for polls in 2018. BJP basks in victoryThe BJP state headquarters broke into celebration after BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections on Monday. The party workers were seen dancing, bursting crackers and exchanging sweets. BJP leaders, including BJP state president Ashok Parnami, social justice and empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi, minister of rural development and Panchayati Raj Rajendra Rathore also reached the state headquarters and congratulated the party workers. Parnami said that the hardwork put in by PM Modi and national president Amit Shah is reflecting in the victory registered in Gujarat and HP. “The BJP government has been in Gujarat for 22 years. There have been no riots in Gujarat for 22 years and the public likes development and peace,” Parnami said. While commenting on the statement of the former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot on EVMs, Parnami said that Gehlot should have faith in democracy.
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