JAIPUR: At the launch of his party’s poll campaign for upcoming assembly elections, Congress president Gandhi made sure the party workers go home assured that their state leadership was united.

Rahul, at the end of his address to Congress delegates from all over the state on Saturday, sprung a surprise by making AICC general secretary (organisation) and (PCC) president hug each other at the dais in full public view. Gehlot and Pilot were caught off guard by Rahul’s impromptu gesture but hugged each other with a hearty laugh. The Congressmen at the dais as well as those present at the Ramleela Maidan cheered and shouted slogans when the two stalwarts came together and waived to the huge gathering.

Much to the delight of its arch rival BJP, the state Congress has been embroiled in a supremacy tussle between its senior leaders, including Gehlot and Pilot. The party workers are seen divided between different camps depending on their association with the senior leaders. Though Gehlot blames media, accusing it of projecting a ‘false division’ among the state leaders, the controversial statements pointing to a fight for the top post incase Congress comes to power in the state has often come from him.

Aware of the affairs in the state, Congress president Rahul conveyed to the gathering on Saturday that he can take care of the state leadership issue when the time comes. To emphasise that he was in full control of the things, Rahul told the Congress gathering that he will ensure that party workers get a full say in the selection of candidates for the assembly elections due in December.

“I guarantee you that not a single ‘parachute candidate’ will be able to get the party ticket. I shall cut the parachutes of such candidates in midair,” Rahul said, drawing a loud cheer from the crowd.

“The Congress government that will be formed, will be a government of the party workers. Only a person recommended by the grassroots workers will get the Congress MLA ticket and go to Vidhan Sabha,” he added. Rahul said Congress prospects were bright in poll-bound Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. He praised the state organisation’s programmes like “Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav” and project “Shakti”.

Speaking before him, Pilot said that the “historic” turnout of people, especially the youth, on the city roads to welcome Rahul was an indication that the notion that Jaipur was a BJP bastion would be dispelled in the coming elections.

“Chief minister is taking out ‘Gaurav Yatra’, while her misrule of four years is resulting in ‘shav yatra’ (funeral) of farmers,” Pilot said.

Gehlot targeted Raje, saying she was on the brink of quitting BJP and forming her own party during the 2013 state elections when BJP was reluctant to name CM candidate and party president. He said the BJP will spread rumours during the election and urged people to be careful.

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