Rajasthan political crisis deepens as Gehlot loyalists make three demands; Maken, Kharge return to Delhi

Senior Congress leader and AICC observer A Maken on Monday said that three leaders from the Rajasthan's Congress unit met him and Mallikarjun Kharge and kept three demands before them, deepening the political crisis in the state.

FP Staff September 26, 2022 12:48:23 IST
Rajasthan political crisis deepens as Gehlot loyalists make three demands; Maken, Kharge return to Delhi

Senior Congress leader and AICC observer Ajay Maken. ANI

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and AICC observer A Maken on Monday said that three leaders from the Rajasthan’s Congress unit met him and Mallikarjun Kharge and kept three demands before them, deepening the political crisis over who will be the next Chief Minister of the state.

“Congress MLAs Pratap Khachariyawas, S Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi met us and kept three demands before us. One was to announce the implementation of resolution of handing over the responsibility (to appoint CM) to Congress President after 19 October. However, we said it’ll be a conflict of interest,” said Maken.

Maken said never in the history of Congress has any resolution been passed with strings attached to it and which is conditional.

“There should be no conflict of interest,” he added.

Maken said that he and Mallikarjun Kharge visited the state as AICC observers to hold a meeting in accordance with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s convenience.

“We were continuously telling the MLAs who didn’t attend the meeting to come and talk to us one-on-one but they didn’t show up. Mallikarjun Kharge and I are going to Delhi to submit our report to the Congress chief. No one has any idea about the number and identities of the MLAs who resigned or not. We are hopeful to sit and talk through this to find a solution,” added Maken.

When asked about MLA Shanti Dhariwal calling a meeting ahead of the Rajasthan CLP meet, he said, “It is indisciplinary to call a meeting parallelly when an official meeting is already called. We’ll see what actions can be taken.”

Maken and Kharge reached Jaipur on Sunday to resolve the current impasse after over 90 MLAs loyal to Gehlot threatened to resign if the Chief Minister’s post goes to his rival Sachin Pilot. They were to meet the MLAs one-on-one to find a way out of the impasse.

Congress leader Sachin Pilot is the High Command’s choice for the top post if Gehlot wins the election for the Congress president post. While prominent leaders such as Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari are also contesting the polls, the Rajasthan Chief Minister is a frontrunner.

Gehlot has been reluctant to vacate the Chief Minister’s post for Pilot, and had earlier said there was no hurdle to him holding on to the post even if he was elected Congress president.

However, he changed his stand after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stressed that the party would stick to the “one-man one-post” rule as decided upon at the top party meet in Udaipur this year.

After Sunday’s developments, Gehlot said that the matter is not in his hands as the MLAs are angry and not ready to back Pilot for the Chief Minister’s post.

Party sources said 82 MLAs loyal to Gehlot, who had submitted resignation letters on Sunday over a possible move to appoint Pilot as the next chief minister, are likely to hold a meeting on Monday to decide their next course of action. The Congress has 108 MLAs in the House of 200.

Meanwhile, Pilot has left for New Delhi to meet the High Command.

With inputs from agencies

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