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Ashok Gehlot out of Congress president's race? Sonia Gandhi upset

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 26, Sep 2022, 21:28 pm IST | UPDATED: 29, Sep 2022, 16:27 pm IST

Ashok Gehlot out of Congress president's race? Sonia Gandhi upset

New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was a top favourite to take over the reins of the Congress party after the presidential election, is now reportedly out of the race over allegations of ''orchestrating'' the political crisis in the state. According to party sources, interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is reportedly ''upset'' with the current political crisis in Rajasthan and has sought a detailed written report from party observers - Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken. Senior Congress leaders including Mukul Wasnik, Mallikarjun Kharge, Digvijaya Singh, KC Venugopal are now expected to enter the fray with chances of Gehlot looking very grim in the wake of Rajasthan political drama by his loyalists, said top party sources.

Two Congress observers - Kharge and Ajay Maken - briefed president Sonia Gandhi on Monday regarding the developments in Rajasthan and will submit a written report about the crisis in the party's state unit by tonight or tomorrow.

Talking to reporters after a nearly hour-long meeting with Gandhi, AICC in-charge for Rajasthan Ajay Maken said they apprised the party president of the developments in the state after which she sought a detailed report on it. He said it was "unfortunate" that the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) could not be held and termed the move of pro-Gehlot loyalist MLAs and ministers as "indiscipline".

Maken added that the CLP meet was kept after Gehlot's consent and the place and time were set as per his request. He said the MLAs and ministers loyal to Chief minister Gehlot cannot pose conditions to the party leadership as they amount to a "conflict of interest

Kharge Ji and I have apprised the Congress president of the CLP meeting in Rajasthan. The Congress President has sought a written report on the entire chronology, which we will submit by late night or tomorrow," Maken said.

Maken said the Congress president had asked the observers to meet all MLAs separately. "Some representatives of MLAs, ministers came and put forth three demands. Their condition is that the CLP leader be elected after October 19 and any decision should be taken after that... This cannot happen as those who are moving the resolution after October 19 would themselves take the decision and this would amount to a conflict of interest," he said.

It is unfortunate that after all this, the CLP meeting could not take place. When the CLP official meeting is kept, no parallel meeting should take place and it primarily amounts to indiscipline," he added. Earlier in the day, Maken said three members from the Gehlot camp had met them with three proposals, which they did not accept as it raised a “conflict of interest.”

Maken told the media persons that Shanti Dhariwal, CP Joshi and Pratap Khachriyawas, representing the Gehlot group, visited him on Sunday night with three proposals and had said ‘a strict no’ for Sachin pilot as the new CM. "In their first proposal, they said if you want to pass a resolution that the Congress high command should be allowed to take a final decision, then pass it after October 19.

"We told them that this raises conflict of interest, as if Gehlot is elected as the Congress president then this proposal will empower him further after October 19 and there can be no bigger conflict of interest than this.

"Secondly, when we told them that we wanted to talk to each of them in person, they said `we will talk in groups. We categorically told them that this has been the Congress practice to take feedback from each leader and we will do the same, but they insisted on coming in groups and further insisted that `you will have to publicly announce this.

Thirdly, they said that the CM should be picked from the 102 MLAs who were loyal during the rebellion, and not from the Pilot group.

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, which was called on Sunday at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot`s residence, was cancelled as more than 90 Congress MLAs loyal to Gehlot threatened to resign, while demanding that the new CM face be picked from their group.

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