Ashok Gehlot Not Ruled Out As Congress President Despite Revolt: 10 Facts

The Gandhi favourites refusal to give up post of Chief Minister upset the leadership, sources say

New Delhi:
Ashok Gehlot, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, is not ruled out of the race for Congress president even though the Gandhis are upset with a rebellion by more than 90 Rajasthan MLAs loyal to him, sources say.

Here are the top 10 developments of this big story

  1. Ashok Gehlot is “still in contention for the post of Congress president and not ruled out”, top Congress sources told NDTV hours after reports said otherwise.

  2. Ashok Gehlot will meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and three or four key leaders loyal to him will be “cautioned” for their role in organising the rebellion, said the sources.

  3. The Congress leadership is believed to be furious with Ashok Gehlot for plotting a rebellion that has embarrassed the party in the middle of Rahul Gandhi’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra”. The 71-year-old Gandhi favourite’s refusal to give up the post of Rajasthan Chief Minister has annoyed the leadership, the sources say.

  4. Mr Gehlot, 71, had agreed to resign as Chief Minister before his elevation as Congress president after Rahul Gandhi made it clear that he would not be allowed a double role, given the Congress’s “one person, one post” policy. The transition in Rajasthan was to be formally announced at a meeting of MLAs at Mr Gehlot’s home on Sunday. The time and place was decided by the Chief Minister, according to Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge, who were part of the meeting as central observers.

  5. However, only about 20 to 25 MLAs showed up at Mr Gehlot’s home. Most Congress MLAs attended a different meeting at the home of Shanti Dhariwal, a minister close to Mr Gehlot. They later took a special bus to the Speaker’s house and threatened to resign if Mr Gehlot was replaced as Chief Minister by his rival Sachin Pilot, who rebelled in 2020 against him.

  6. The MLAs refused to meet with the two central leaders individually, openly defying party president Sonia Gandhi, and laid out conditions that included choosing a new Chief Minister only after the Congress president election. If Mr Gehlot became Congress chief, that would constitute conflict of interest as he would be empowered to pick his own successor in Rajasthan.

  7. Although three ministers close to him coordinated the rebellion, Mr Gehlot denied any part in it, citing his visit to a shrine near the India-Pakistan border that morning where there was no phone reception. “Nothing is in my hands. The MLAs are angry,” he told the central leadership.

  8. No one in Delhi believed that 92 MLAs could threaten mass resignation without Mr Gehlot’s active support and encouragement. Though Mr Gehlot has apologised, the Congress leadership has taken a “serious view” of indiscipline by one of its senior most leaders.

  9. The Rajasthan crisis added to the turbulent build-up to the October 17 Congress president polls. For the first time in more than two decades, a Gandhi is not in the contest.

  10. With Mr Gehlot, the odds-on favourite, ruled out, the Congress is considering candidates like Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijaya Singh. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s name has also come up but he met with Sonia Gandhi last evening and reportedly said he would prefer to focus on his state.

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