Will Ashok Gehlot lose Rajasthan CM’s post? | India News

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NEW DELHI: After meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced that he would not contest the election for the party chief’s post. After having lost the trust of the organisation’s high command, it is also likely that he may have to wash his hands off the CM’s post.
After meeting Sonia, Gehlot told mediapersons that he apologised to her for the developments that took place in Jaipur on Sunday where MLAs loyal to him defied the central observers and refused to attend the meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).
Gehlot said, “In the last 50 years, I have worked as a loyal Congress soldier from the time of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Sonia ji, be it becoming a central minister or state unit chief, general secretary or CM for the third time, I cannot forget that. The events that happened (on Sunday) have shaken all of us. Only I know how hurt I am because a message went that I want to remain CM.”
He said he felt sorry for not getting a one-line resolution passed (in the CLP meeting) despite him being the CM of the state.
Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken were sent by the party high command as central observers to select the CLP leader who would have succeeded Gehlot as the CM.
Considered a Nehru-Gandhi loyalist, Gehlot was chosen by the party high command to succeed Sonia as Congress president. He initially insisted to continue as Rajasthan CM while taking up the party president’s post.
However, he backed down and agreed to give up the CM’s chair when Rahul Gandhi reiterated that he would have to follow the one man-one post principle as decided in the party’s Chintan Shivir held in Udaipur in May.
But Gehlot’s loyalists wanted one of them to succeed him instead of the CMship going to Sachin Pilot. Fearing that the decision may go against their interests, they defied the central observers who convened the CLP meeting where a one-line resolution would have been moved.
However, more than 80 MLAs owing allegiance to Gehlot gathered at assembly speaker CP Joshi’s place and submitted their resignation to protest any move by the central observers to select the Rajasthan CM’s bete noire Sachin Pilot, who had led a revolt against him in 2020.
Gehlot’s loyalist MLAs twice defied the high command when they did not attend the CLP meeting convened by the central observers. One of the MLAs even accused Maken of conspiring to make Pilot the CM.
The central observers said whatever happened in Jaipur amounted to indiscipline. They submitted their report to Sonia on their return to Delhi.
Gehlot arrived in Delhi on Wednesday and met Sonia on Thursday. On Thursday itself, former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh, who was accompanying party leader Rahul Gandhi in the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra, collected the nomination form for the Congress presidential election and said he would contest the poll.
Thereafter, he met Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor, who is in the fray and was the first Congress leader to throw his hat in the ring by collecting the nomination form.
Why Gehlot may have to quit as Rajasthan CM
After meeting Sonia, Gehlot also said he took “moral responsibility” for the political crisis in Rajasthan.
With the all powerful Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal standing by his side, he said Sonia would decide whether he would continue as Rajasthan CM.
Gehlot, a three-time chief minister, described himself as a disciplined soldier of the party and expressed sadness over the turn of affairs in the state.
Earlier, Venugopal said in Malappuram in Kerala that Rajasthan would have a new CM soon.
He said, “There is no drama in Rajasthan. Everything will be clear in a day or two, and you will know who is going to be the new CM.”
Venugopal further said the Congress was going ahead with the AICC presidential poll in a most-democratic manner.




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