Internal Rifts and Leadership Critique Surface as OSD Blames Chief Minister Gehlot for Congress Defeat in Rajasthan

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Jaipur: In a surprising turn of events, Lokesh Sharma, the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to outgoing Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, publicly attributed the Congress party’s defeat in the recent assembly polls to Gehlot’s leadership. Sharma, who was denied a ticket to contest the elections, openly criticized Gehlot, asserting that the Chief Minister’s experience, strategic maneuvers, and schemes failed to steer the Congress back to power in the state.

Expressing his disappointment, Sharma claimed that Gehlot’s leadership relegated the Congress to the periphery once again, emphasizing that the Chief Minister has consistently detracted from the party’s success rather than contributing to its resurgence. The OSD went on to accuse Gehlot of deceiving the high command, suppressing accurate feedback, obstructing the emergence of alternative leadership, making misguided decisions driven by narcissism, and disregarding valuable input and survey findings.

“While the election results are disheartening, they are not surprising. Undoubtedly, Congress had the potential to alter the political landscape in Rajasthan, but Ashok Gehlot ji seemed averse to any transformative change. This defeat is not merely the Congress’s loss but a reflection of Ashok Gehlot ji’s shortcomings,” remarked Sharma.

Sharma criticized Gehlot’s approach, stating that the Chief Minister essentially contested on every seat in the state, overshadowing the collective efforts of the Congress. “Neither Gehlot’s experience nor his political acumen yielded results. Despite serving as CM for the third consecutive term, Gehlot once again pushed the party to the margins,” he added.

Highlighting his attempts to offer advice, Sharma revealed that he had warned Gehlot multiple times about the predicted outcome. However, Gehlot allegedly remained unreceptive to advice or the presence of individuals willing to speak the truth. Sharma disclosed his desire to contest elections from Bikaner and later Bhilwara, a seat held by the opposition for two decades, proposing new strategies. Regrettably, Gehlot did not entertain these experimental approaches.

The OSD underscored his prediction about Rajasthan minister BD Kalla’s electoral fate, claiming he had forewarned Gehlot about Kalla’s potential defeat by over 20,000 votes—a prophecy that materialized on election day. The internal criticism and revelations from a close aide have raised questions about the Congress’s internal dynamics and leadership strategies in the aftermath of this electoral setback.

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