Cong committee asks Sonia to pull Gehlot out of party prez race: Report | Latest News India

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Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot must be withdrawn from the race to become the next Congress president, members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, told interim boss Sonia Gandhi Monday. Sources told news agency ANI some members were annoyed with Gehlot over the drama playing out in his state, where MLAs loyal to the (presumed) outgoing chief minister have halted what the Congress hoped would be smooth transition of power – ex-deputy CM Sachin Pilot taking over from Gehlot.

The miffed CWC members have lodged a complaint against Gehlot, ANI reported. They are believed to have told Sonia Gandhi “It would not be good to lay faith in him and give him responsibility of the party… top leadership should reconsider his candidature”.

Also Read | Rajasthan political crisis: All you need to know about the likely scenarios

They have Sonia Gandhi – who last week reportedly told both Gehlot and rival Shashi Tharoor – there will be no party candidate and that anyone could contest for her post.

Drama in Rajasthan erupted late Sunday night after more than 90 MLAs who profess loyalty to Gehlot snubbed an outreach by party observers Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge and said they would resign – potentially bringing down their party’s government – if they were not allowed to pick a chief minister of their choice; neither Pilot, who led an unsuccessful revolt against Gehlot two years ago, nor his supporters were acceptable choices, the MLAs declared.

The MLAs gathered at the home of state minister Shanti Dhariwal – who is believed to have chief ministerial ambitions himself – and met Speaker CP Joshi late last night.

Also Read | Gehlot’s supporters want announcement of his successor postponed till Oct 19

Pilot and MLAs loyal to him attended Saturday’s legislature party meeting – scheduled by Gehlot – but lawmakers in the chief minister’s camp stayed away, raising questions over his ability to control them. Gehlot had previously expressed reluctance in surrendering his position as chief minister even if he (as is expected) wins the presidential race.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi – whose resignation from the post in 2019 – has left a festering leadership void – indicated last week that he expected the party to honour the “one person, one post” rule adopted during the Udaipur conclave. That comment was seen as a rebuke to Gehlot, who subsequently indicated his willingness to abide by the party’s rules.

As the crisis played out Monday, Gehlot met Kharge at a Jaipur hotel. Both Maken and Kharge are to return to Delhi to brief Sonia Gandhi. Gehlot and Pilot are expected in Delhi as well.

Meanwhile, Shashi Tharoor – the party’s Lok Sabha MP from Kerala and a member of the G-23 group of internal critics of the Gandhis – said he will file his nomination on September 30.


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