Representational image. News18 Hindi
Congress President Elections LIVE: After meeting party president Sonia Gandhi, Gehlot told reporters that he apologised to her for the developments on Sunday when MLAs supporting him defied the central observers and thwarted their move to hold a meeting of party legislators.
Instead, they held a parallel meet to pitch for Gehlot’s continuation or the guarantee that his bete noire Sachin Pilot does not replace him.
Gehlot, a three-time state chief minister, described himself as a disciplined soldier of the party and expressed his sadness over the turn of affairs in the state.
Asked if he will continue as chief minister, Gehlot said Gandhi will decide on the issue.
“I won’t decide that, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will decide that,” Gehlot on being asked if he will remain Rajasthan Chief Minister.
“I met Rahul Gandhi in Kochi & requested him to fight in the polls (for Congress President). When he didn’t accept, I said I’ll contest but now with that Rajasthan incident, I’ve decided not to contest the elections: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.
“I welcome his candidacy for Congress Presidency. We both agreed that ours is not a battle b/w rivals but a friendly contest among colleagues. All we want is that whoever prevails, Cong will win!” said Tharoor.
Senior Congress leader and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot will meet party chief Sonia Gandhi.
The meetings come days after an open rebellion by Gehlot loyalists over a possible leadership change in the state, clouding Gehlot’s chances of running for the presidency.
The party’s disciplinary committee has asked three Gehlot loyalists — Rajasthan ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi, and Dharmendra Rathore — to explain within 10 days why action should not be initiated against them. This was after observers for Rajasthan, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken, charged them with “gross indiscipline” in a report to party chief Sonia Gandhi.
Eighty-two MLAs participated in a parallel meeting at Dhariwal’s residence in Jaipur, laying down conditions for the party. They did not attend the official legislature party meeting convened for passing a resolution authorising the Congress chief to appoint a successor to Gehlot, who was to contest the Congress presidential election.
With the Rajasthan episode posing a significant challenge before the party, the Congress president has been holding discussions with senior party leaders from across the country to resolve the crisis.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot arrived at 10 Janpath to meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, reports ANI.
“Wait till October 4, the date of withdrawal,” he said when asked if the poll will be a trio-cornered contest or a two-cornered contest, according to ANI.
“Today I have come here to collect my nomination form (for Congress president elections) and will file it tomorrow,” says Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Congress leader KC Venugopal has reached interim president Sonia Gandhi’s residence 10, Janpath in New Delhi. Venugopal was sent to Delhi from Kerala by Rahul Gandhi after the political drama broke out in Rajasthan, ANI reported.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday night left Kerala for Delhi and will visit the party office today to take the nomination papers from Central Election Authority for the election to the party president’s post.
According to reports, Singh will submit his nomination papers on 30 September as the CEA chairman is currently out of Delhi.
AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal was also in the same flight from Kerala to Delhi.
Singh and Venugopal were participating in the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ which was currently in Kerala.
Singh is likely to hold a meeting of his supporters at night.
The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister is the latest entrant in the fray for the party chief’s election, even as the fate of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot contesting the party chief’s election is uncertain.
With inputs from agencies
Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.