From Magician’s Son to National Congress President’s Favorite


After nearly two decades, Congress is ready to see a contest for the post of party chairman. Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot are the main contenders.

Gehlot is an old hand in this profession. The Chief Minister is known as the ‘magician’ in the Congress of Rajasthan. Son of a magician, he never ceases to amaze the political world with his magic tricks.

At a conjurers’ convention in 2015 – which he opened by performing a little trick of his own – Gehlot said he would have followed in his father Lachman Singh Gehlot’s footsteps had he not joined politics .

In his early years in politics, he was called “gilli billi”, a reference to his past performing magic on tour as his father’s assistant.

Later, another pasted label. He started to be called the Gandhi of Rajasthan for his simple lifestyle and mass connection. After all, he was the head of congressional business in the state for years.

Besides being the CM, he won a series of Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections and headed the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee.

He has been deployed by the party in crucial roles nationally. He was appointed AICC Secretary General in charge of Gujarat just months before the Assembly elections. Congress did not win but managed to scare the ruling Bharatiya Janata party in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.

In the Karnataka assembly polls, he was there in Bengaluru with Ghulam Nabi Azad to help assemble a post-election coalition with Janata Dal (secular) to form the government.

After his first job with the organization as the Rajasthan Chairman of the NSUI from 1974 to 1979, Gehlot became Chairman of the Congress Committee of the City of Jodhpur from 1979 to 1982. Thereafter, he was elevated to the post of secretary general of the state congressional committee.

Gehlot was first elected to Parliament in 1980 and won Lok Sabha elections four more times. Since 1999, he has represented the assembly constituency of Sardarpura, winning five consecutive terms in the House.

At the Centre, Gehlot served as Minister of State in the Ministries of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sports and Textiles, at various times between 1982 and 1993. He also served as AICC Secretary General in charge of Delhi and Sewa Dal of the party from 2004-2009 and member of the Congress Working Committee in charge of Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

He is married to Sunita Gehlot and has a daughter and a son.

Gehlot graduated in science, graduated in economics and studied law. And then there’s old-fashioned magic and politics on his resume.


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