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Gehlot's defiance of high command may cost him Congress president's post

Source: PTI
September 26, 2022 23:03 IST
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Upset over an open rebellion in Rajasthan, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday sought a written report on it from party observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken as the chances of Ashok Gehlot becoming the party chief receded and other names cropped up for the post.

Kharge and Maken, who were sent as observers to Jaipur for a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, briefed Gandhi in the evening after their return to Delhi and termed the parallel meet held by Gehlot loyalists as "indiscipline".

They are expected to recommend disciplinary action against those behind the move, including minister Shanti Dhariwal and Rajasthan Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi.

 

Both Gehlot and Pilot spent the day at their Jaipur homes. Pilot met his supporters, but they refrained from publicly commenting on Sunday's developments, while Gehlot performed a Navratri puja.

Sonia Gandhi is reportedly "upset" over the Rajasthan developments as Gehlot was being considered as her successor for the top post. Sources said Gehlot told the two observers that he is not behind the Jaipur development and the MLAs involved in it were not listening to him.

But the drama put a question mark on whether Gehlot would still run for the party president's post or someone else would replace him as a candidate supported by the current leadership.

Names of senior party leaders Kharge, Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Sushilkumar Shinde, Mukul Wasnik and Kumari Selja are now also doing the rounds for the post.

Congress leader Kamal Nath, who met Sonia Gandhi Monday, ruled himself out as a candidate. He has reportedly stepped in as a troubleshooter for his party.

Kharge and Maken are likely to submit their report to Gandhi about the crisis in the party's state unit by Wednesday.

After a nearly one and half hour-long meeting with Gandhi, Maken told reporters that it was "unfortunate" that the CLP meet could not be held.

AICC General Secretary-Organisation K C Venugopal was also present during the meeting with Gandhi.

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