After five years Congress President Rahul Gandhi got an opportunity to appoint Chief Ministers of three newly won states, that too through consensus. The toughest selection was in Rajasthan as there the mine and opium mafia dominate politics.
On his part, Gujjar leader Sachin Pilot was quite vociferous. Finally, Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi had to come to Rahul’s rescue to decide the leadership issue for this very volatile and important state of North India. As soon as the Rajasthan electoral results were declared, Rahul sent his two trusted messengers, KC Venugopal and Avinash Pandey, to persuade Sachin to agree on Gehlot’s name. The messengers told Sachin that Rahul is of the view that Gehlot will be able to handle the state well till the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sachin immediately asked whether this meant he would be CM post the polls. Venugopal and Pandey did not know what to say. It is reported that Sachin also suggested a two-and-a-half-years formula in which 2.5 years are Gehlot’s and the remaining 2.5 Sachin’s. Rahul instead offered the post of Deputy CM and Sachin had little option but to accept.