Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Rajasthan: Status quo to be maintained till Congress president election nominations

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As the Congress strives to avert a political crisis in Rajasthan caused by efforts to pick a successor to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who is expected to run for the party’s presidential nomination, sources say the status quo will be preserved till the nominations process is completed.

With party observers criticising some of President Minister Ashok Gehlot’s followers’ behaviour, sources said a decision on issuing show cause notices to disgruntled MLAs who have been loud in public will be made when interim chief Sonia Gandhi reviews the report of the observers deployed to the state. The AICC monitors will deliver a formal report to Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi either tonight or tomorrow.

“Status-quo to be maintained till Congress president election nominations. Decision on issuing of show cause notices to miffed MLAs, vocal in public, will be taken after interim chief takes action on report by observers,” a source said.

The process for filing nominations for Congress presidential elections will end on September 30.

Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday briefed Sonia Gandhi about the developments in Rajasthan in wake of political crisis in the state.

Sonia Gandhi asked Maken and Kharge, who were appointed observers for the legislature party meeting, to give a written report which will be submitted to her tonight or tomorrow.

“Mallikarjun Kharge and I briefed Congress chief everything about our meeting in Rajasthan in detail. Now she has asked us for a written report that will be given to her by tonight or tomorrow,” Maken told reporters.

The political crisis was precipitated by Ashok Gehlot’s desire for a successor of his choice in Rajasthan, following his apparent agreement to file his nomination for the presidential election.

Maken stated that the location of the legislative party meeting was determined following consultations, and that they were required to provide a report after speaking with each MLA, which was not possible.

He stated that conducting a “parallel meeting” when a CLP meeting has been called is “unacceptable.” Maken stated that the state’s leadership would be decided in Delhi rather than Jaipur.

Maken stated that the three ministers who met with them at Gehlot’s apartment proposed three requirements.

He said they demanded that a decision on a CLP resolution should be after declaration of Congress presidential poll results on October 19. Rejecting the condition, Maken said a resolution is not passed with conditions and also noted that any such move will be “a conflict of interest” for Gehlot.

Maken said the ministers also demanded that MLAs should meet the observers in groups and this was not acceptable. “We wanted to meet every MLA individually so that the decision is free and fair,” Maken said.

He said the three ministers also said that successor to Gehlot should be chosen from among 102 MLAs, who had stood by him during the crisis in 2020. Gehlot government had faced political crisis in 2020 over demands led by Sachin Pilot and MLAs loyal to him.

Maken on Sunday met three members from the Gehlot camp – Shanti Dhariwal, CP Joshi and Pratap Khachriyawas who had put forward their proposals. 

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