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Rajasthan CM Gehlot Showers PM Modi With Praise, Raises Eyebrows In Congress

In an unusual  move, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he shared a stage with him at ‘Mangarh Dham ki Gaurav Gatha’ at Mangadh Hill in Rajasthan’s Banswara on  November 1. He talked about how Modi “receives great honour when he goes abroad. Because he is the PM of the nation of Gandhi, where democracy is deep-rooted. When the world realises this, they feel proud that the PM of that country is coming to them.” At a time, when the Congress is usually targeting the PM, it is interesting that Gehlot chose to lavish praise on him. These words of praise for Modi seem to be coming days before new party chief Mallikarjun Kharge is set to initiate disciplinary action against Rajasthan leaders for defying high command authority. As a shrewd political player Gehlot may have chosen a public forum to send a message to the AICC that he could be exploring other options. On his part, PM Modi reciprocated Gehlot’s gesture by recalling working together as CM and how “he is senior most in our lot of CMs”. Interestingly, Gehlot loyalists had recently opposed Sachin Pilot’s elevation as CM on the ground that he had hobnobbed with the BJP during the 2020 crisis. But then is it okay for Gehlot to warm up to Modi? Or BJP is merely a punching bag for the Congress?