“Dad’s always got your back”.
I found this saying true after reading the news that Rajasthan Chief Minister’s son was elected as the Rajasthan Cricket Association’s (RCA) President.
On October 4, 2019, Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot was elected as the new president of RCA after defeating Ram Prakash Chaudhary from Rameshwar Dudi’s group by 19 votes. Vaibhav Gehlot replaced Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi as RCA president. Joshi camp also engineered the win for Vaibhav.
Rameshwar Lal Dudi, former Leader of the Opposition and President of the Nagaur District Cricket Association (NDCA), who was sidelined by the mainstream leaders after he lost the assembly elections last year, was another contender in waiting for RCA president. RCA Electoral Officer Rajani Ranjan Rashmi disqualified cricket associations of Nagaur, Alwar, and Sri Ganganagar over their association with Lalit Modi from the whole process.
Lalit Modi was the NDCA President, while his son Ruchir Modi is the President of Alwar District Cricket Association, and Sri Ganganagar District Cricket Association’s President Mehmood Abdi is Lalit’s lawyer. Due to this, Dudi’s nomination for the top post was also rejected. This rejection resulted in the Jat leader’s call for a protest, outside Sawai Man Singh Stadium, Jaipur, which was further backed by Rashtriya Lok Tantrik Party (RLP) supporters.
Vaibhav Gehlot lost general elections this year against Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Jodhpur on a Congress ticket. After the humiliating defeat in his stronghold, Ashok Gehlot faced criticism for his son’s loss. Rajasthan CM has also been alleged earlier for son infatuation. His centralized campaigning for his son in Jodhpur was widely criticized as BJP swept all 25 parliamentary seats in the state. He was also alleged for spending a substantial amount of time in Jodhpur and ignoring other constituencies.
Now in a bid to boost Junior Gehlot’s political career, Vaibhav’s candidature for the post was heavily backed by the Gehlot Camp. While Senior Party leader Rameshwar Dudi openly opposed the appointment and accused the CM of misusing state machinery and son infatuation. Dudi was further supported by Nagaur MP and RLP Founder Hanuman Beniwal. Both Jat Leaders protested against the new appointment.
State’s Jat dominated constituencies of Jhunjhunu and Khinwsar will be going for by-polls on 21st October. The Jat numbers there could be a big setback for the ruling party. Rajasthan Congress and State Congress Government are already facing inner power struggles and could be troubling in the elections as BJP is going a step ahead with recent appointment of Satish Poonia, a Jat leader from Amer, as state Chief. Poonia, a first time MLA also jibed at the ruling government and supported Dudi.
Since the last few months, news of Vaibhav’s comeback through Cricket politics was doing the rounds. It was evident after his elevation as treasurer of Rajsamand Cricket Association last month.
It will be interesting to watch if this “Putra Moh” will pump Junior Gehlot’s political career or retain the by-elections for the ruling party or not.