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Whenever Congress comes to power in Raj, it will always be Gehlot as CM, even after 10 or 15 years

Editor-in-Chief of First India, Jagdeesh Chandra, in The New JC Show, speaks about victory of Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab, confidence of Congress party in Rajasthan and more...(Concluding part)


Who do you consider to be a serious candidate among the possible chief ministerial faces for Uttarakhand and Manipur?

Jagdeesh Chandra: See, the Chief Minister in Manipur will be repeated there are no doubts about it. Although the high command will decide on the name for Uttarakhand, but the ones doing the rounds is of Ajay Bhatt.

Then they are also considering on Dhami, even though he lost the election, since he worked relentlessly for the party. The name of Satpal Maharaj is also doing the rounds.

These names are doing the rounds but the high command believes in giving surprises. last time when the deliberations for Uttarakhand CM were going on, Nadda had travelled to the state. Infact, till the last moment, when he was to enter the meeting of the legislative party, he did not know of the name to get consensus for or announce in the meet.

He called up the leaders in Delhi and informed that he is now in the meeting while requesting to tell the name. It was then that he was told the name and he later announced it. Something on the same lines happened in Gujarat also.

We all know how Modi and Shah choose BJP’s CMs. As such there is no issue in Uttarakhand and whatever name will be approved by central leadership will be announced as CM.

How do you gauge this unexpected victory of Kejriwal’s AAP party in Punjab?

This victory for AAP is basically the cumulative result of frustration of people against all national parties. They realised that all other parties were fighting within themselves. People didn’t wanted to vote Akalis to power since their experience with Sukhbir Badal wasn’t good.

That is why his father also lost. In Congress, both the main leaders fought with each other. Channi was sure to win and become CM, but the situation changed completely. So, people then decided that a new person should be given a chance.

But what I can’t get my head around is the point that whenever people choose AAP, why does it come riding an electoral tsunami? I feel that if Kejriwal keeps a close supervision then AAP will be a success in Punjab and for that they actually do not have to do a lot.

They just have to do a few things i.e. not get involved in corruption, secondly, people’s works should not get stopped and thirdly there should not be any vendetta politics.

As such Kejriwal has become more mature as a politician and he is not like his earlier self. So, I think their government will be a success in Punjab and after that they can carry out their experiments where ever they want to.

They (AAP) are eyeing Haryana and Gujarat.

Yes, but like I said in Gujarat it is next to impossible since there is Narendra Modi’s wave in that state. And I have seen that last time AAP had 20 seats in Punjab and this time they have 92, so they don’t rise slowly, rather they jump to the next big number.

But it is impossible in Gujarat for any party to have a jump like AAP in Punjab, with the Narendra Modi factor being there. I don’t think there is a silent undercurrent on Gujarat politics that would turn tables on the Narendra Modi model.

After the elections in five states, what will be the calculation of BJP’s seats in Rajya Sabha now?

By this year end, BJP will be in majority in Rajya Sabha. The total strength in Rajya Sabha is 243 and they need 122 seats for majority and as of now they have 97 members. So, by year end they will achieve majority in the Upper House.

For the past few months, CM Ashok Gehlot seems to be quite confident about his return to power in 2023. Is his confidence still intact after the UP election results?

His confidence is due to his homework, his strategy, his truth and faith on his team. he has seen and gotten over so many crises and I think no other CM has seen as many crises as Gehlot in these past three years, and in each of these crises he has come up as a hero and saviour. He has his own equations on the basis of which he is confident.

What is the possibility of a BJP government in Rajasthan in 2023? And who can be the possible faces for the Chief Ministerial assignment in your view?

There are fifty-fifty chances of BJP coming to power in Rajasthan and I don’t consider that any local person will have any contribution in it.

Yes, Satish Poonia is working extremely hard and I see a tie, of sorts, between Satish Poonia and Gajendra Singh, that is my analysis.

Although I have said in the past that Shekhawat is the CM designate from the party. But all things are irrelevant. There is just a fifty percent chance of BJP coming to power, as of today, considering today’s environment.

The confidence that BJP has under Modi and Shah and their leadership has re-emerged, in a way, keeping that in mind. Rest we need to see. I don’t think that any person can afford the displeasure of Amit Shah within the party.

I don’t think Vasundhara Raje is going to form a new party. Madam will be given her honour by the high command. Interestingly, there is an astrologer who stresses that she will again become the chief minister.

I spoke to that astrologer and told him that in current scenario it does not seem that anyone can become CM on their own terms.

He said that his astrology points at Raje’s third term. However, as of today and in today’s situation, no leader, including Madam, is in a position to bargain with the high command. There is one more thing. in BJP, no one other than Narendra Modi can be the face of election.

Perhaps after that one may be appointed as CM. Names of Om Birla and Om Mathur are also taken as CM probable, but these are dark horses.

 What is the future of Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan?

His future in politics is bright. Time decides who stands with which party. In Congress he has one point that he has to become the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. He may be right in his own way.

As of now I don’t see any chance, especially after Channi’s experiment in Punjab which has demoralised the Congress high command. Although there are people in Delhi who have conveyed to the high command that whatever happens, change of leadership should happen even for merely ten days, in Rajasthan.

They listen to it but the ground realities do not allow it. As of today there is just one ray of hope for Congress i.e. Ashok Gehlot. How will you disturb him? And if they do bring about a change of power, the government will fall. Pilot has said he wants to become CM, he may be right in his place, but he can become CM only when there is a vacancy. As of now there is no vacancy in the state. Yes, he can be given important roles in Centre.

He was one of the handful of people who accompanied Priyanka in UP elections. So, he is a bright and smart leader. Few people claim that he should wait for 10 years.

But I do not agree on that point. However, whenever Congress government is formed in Rajasthan, Gehlot will be the CM. Even if it comes for the fourth or fifth time, when Gehlot will be of 81 years, he will still be CM.

So, if he waits, he waits. He has two options, first, joining BJP but he will not go there since he is a selfrespecting individual. Second option is that he can form his own party where he will not feel humiliated and get 25-30 seats on his own. So, I think he must be in a deep thinking process these days.

During the show #JConModiUPWave trended top All-India on Twitter

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