Times of India Editorial & Vocabulary – Pilot and Gehlot

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Pilot and Gehlot

Ashok Gehlot’s announcement that he and Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot will both be contesting the assembly polls took some by surprise. Congress has traditionally preferred to go into elections without declaring a chief ministerial candidate for fear of factional fights erupting. A two-term chief minister, Gehlot carries considerable heft in the Rajasthan Congress despite Pilot heading the state unit for over four years. Congress has played down any talk of rift between them and the new spin is that senior leaders directly entering the contest will fire up party cadre.

Gehlot’s elevation as AICC general secretary in charge of Gujarat soon after Rahul Gandhi took charge as Congress president was seen as a clearing of the decks for Pilot in Rajasthan. The spirited Congress showing in the Gujarat elections where it ran BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi close was credited to Gehlot’s steadying influence. He was soon promoted as general secretary in charge of organisation, making Gehlot the No 2 in the AICC pecking order after Rahul.

But the lure of another shot at chief ministership rather than play second fiddle in Delhi is hard to resist for most regional politicians. However, Gehlot’s disastrous showing as CM in his second term, which ended in Congress winning just 21 of Rajasthan’s 200 seats in 2013, clouds his prospects. Rajasthan is in need of fresh ideas and leadership that can kickstart growth and create jobs. Like Gehlot, Vasundhara Raje, another second term CM, has had a lacklustre tenure underscoring the need for periodic churning in political organisations to prevent them from becoming moribund.

Under Pilot, the Rajasthan Congress quickly put behind it the debilitating losses of 2013 and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. This became evident in BJP’s twin bypoll defeats in Ajmer and Alwar earlier this year, which put Raje on the defensive. Pilot is among a younger crop of Congress leaders struggling to come out of the shadow of veterans, many of whom benefited handsomely from Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi’s conscious attempts to promote younger leaders. Keeping them waiting interminably will harm Congress in its ability to connect with young voters, given that nearly 50% of India is below the age of 25. But while the Pilot-Gehlot choice can wait till polling day, Congress has a more immediate task at hand.

Vocabulary

Heft: lift or carry something heavy

Example: Donald hefted another pair of sandbags from the stack

Synonyms: lift, lift up, raise, raise up, heave, hoist, haul, carry, lug, tote

 
Rift: a crack, split, or break in something.

Example: The wind had torn open a rift in the clouds

Synonyms: crack, fault, flaw, split, break, breach, fissure, fracture

 
Elevation: the action or fact of elevating or being elevated.

Example: Her sudden elevation to the cabinet

Synonyms: promotion, upgrading, advancement, advance, preferment

 
Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Example: The influence of television violence

Synonyms: effect, impact, control, sway, hold, power, authority, mastery

 
Lure: tempt a person to do something or to go somewhere, especially by offering some form of reward.

Example: The child was lured into a car but managed to escape

Synonyms: tempt, entice, attract, induce, coax, persuade, inveigle, allure, seduce

 
Fiddle: an act of defrauding, cheating, or falsifying.

Example: A major mortgage fiddle

 
Disastrous: causing great damage.

Example: A disastrous fire swept through the museum

Synonyms: catastrophic, calamitous, cataclysmic, tragic, devastating, ruinous

 
Prospects: the possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring

Example: There was no prospect of a reconciliation

Synonyms: likelihood, hope, expectation, anticipation, good/poor chance

 
Lacklustre: lacking in vitality, force, or conviction; uninspired or uninspiring.

Example: No excuses were made for the team’s lackluster performance

Synonyms: uninspired, uninspiring, unimaginative, dull, humdrum, uninvolving

 
Conscious: aware of and responding to one’s surroundings.

Example: He was admitted to the ICU conscious and alert, but with a very low blood pressure, and very marginal oxygenation.

Synonyms: aware, awake, alert, responsive, sentient, compos mentis

 

 

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