Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's oath ceremony for a second term, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's "best wishes" for him came with an allegation against the ruling BJP.
Ashok Gehlot, like other chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, made it clear he was skipping the grand swearing in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday evening.
"Even before the swearing in ceremony of newly-elected BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government, they are trying to disturb and dismantle the state governments of the opposition parties including West Bengal, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. My best wishes," tweeted the chief minister.
Even before the swearing in ceremony of newly elected BJP government, they are trying to disturb and dismantle the state governments of the opposition parties including West Bengal, Karnatka and Madhya Pradesh.— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) May 30, 2019
My best wishes from Jaipur.
The Rajasthan Congress performed miserably in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, failing to win even one of the state's 25 parliamentary constituencies. The disastrous result came after a spectacular win in Assembly elections last year; the party won 99 of 200 seats, flipping the state from BJP's clutches.
The result also heaped pressure on Mr Gehlot's government, with Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma declaring on Wednesday that he must take responsibility for the result and resign.
"Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot should tender his resignation over the defeat in the Lok Sabha election. He could not make his son (Vaibhav) win (from Jodhpur) and he should take the responsibility," Mr Sharma was quoted in a report by news agency PTI.
The Lok Sabha poll result also led to renewal of factionalism and speculation of leadership changes in the state and heaped pressure on Mr Gehlot and his government, particularly after Congress president Rahul Gandhi delivered a stern warning about senior leaders who field their sons in polls and ignored the party's needs.
Mr Gehlot's comment may also have been a reference to the large contingent of Trinamool Congress legislators and leaders spirited away by the BJP from Mamata Banerjee's party. The large-scale switch was engineered by Mukul Roy - the leader who was the architect of the BJP's growth in the state.
Their induction marked a huge boost for the BJP and spells trouble for the Trinamool in the next assembly election in the state, which will be held in 2021.
Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP swept to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha election on the back of a campaign criticised by opposition leaders. The BJP alone won 303 seats (352 with NDA allies) to better its 2014 tally of 282 seats.
With input from PTI
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