|Consequently, he was sent to put
down a rebellion that broke out in Taxila due to mal-administration of
his brother Sumana. He studied the situation and tackled it with tact and
forethought. Soon, peace returned there. He was honoured at home for
this. His brother's inefficiency as Viceroy led to another outburst of
public discontentment at Taxila. Asoka again appeared there in time. With iron hand, he wiped out
the popular discontent in a matter of hours. So he was allowed to continue his
administration there for long. He displaced Sumana once for all from the much-coveted office
thus. Sumana proved a foil to Asoka, throughout his youth.
No wonder that the minister
Radhagupta, whose say was law unto many, within and without the royal court, supported
Asoka's claim, when there was a hot contest for the throne between Asoka on
one side, and Sumana on the other, being aided and abetted by his worthless 98 brothers. The struggle
stretched over a period of four long years. It was anything but fair and
pleasant, for that bloody - period was seethed with intrigues and treachery, plots and
counter - plots.
People witnessed a Government now and then without head, and a head without power, periodically.