The Congress’ central leadership on Monday continued its struggle to placate the never-ending power tussle that keeps haunting the grand old party in the last few remaining states where it is in power.
As the Rajasthan crisis intensified with chief minister Ashok Gehlot announcing his candidature for the party president’s post, but refusing to give up the top chair in the state to his former deputy and now rival Sachin Pilot, a late-night meeting was held at interim chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence in Delhi.
Here are the top developments of the day that once again brought to fore the leadership’s failure to get things done smoothly:
– Sonia Gandhi met Congress observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken who briefed her about the developments in Rajasthan. They were sent to the western state to talk out the issues, but came back with little success. The duo would submit a written report soon.
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– Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, who was summoned to Delhi in the wake of the crisis, ruled himself out as a probable candidate for the Congress president’s post. When asked if he was not interested in the post of Congress president, Nath told reporters, “I have no interest, I have come to Delhi for Navratri.”
– Nath, known to have close ties with Gehlot, has reportedly been asked to broker a truce, something he failed to do in his own state, leading to the fall of the Congress government in Madhya Pradeshand flight of several leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, to the BJP.
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– Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met her mother and party president at her 10, Janpath residence. Rajya Sabha MP KC Venugopal is also said to met Sonia Gandhi over the issue – factional feud that turned into a full-blown crisis for the party over a possible leadership change.
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– Maken said MLAs loyal to Gehlot have put forth demands, including that a decision on the chief ministerial face should be taken after the party president election on October 19 and in consultation with Gehlot.
– He further said the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting was organised with the consent of Gehlot, and termed the act of the MLAs loyal to him holding a parallel meeting as “indiscipline”.
– While Gehlot has said he had no role in the rebellion of the MLAs, few accepted his claim.
– Gehlot loyalists said Maken was on a mission to put Pilot, whom they called a traitor for having engineered a rebellion in 2020 as a war of words continued between the two camps.
– MLAs close to Sachin Pilot have so far refrained from openly commenting on the issue. Pilot had spent hours at the CM’s residence on Sunday evening.
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– Meanwhile, some Congress legislators, including Assembly speaker CP Joshi, reached a polo ground in Jaipur to watch a match where sports minister Ashok Chandna was one of the players.
– Much drama had happened at Joshi’s place last night when a large number of MLAs close to Gehlot reached there to submit their resignations.
(With agency inputs)