Congress leadership upset over Rajasthan drama, summons Gehlot, Pilot to Delhi
New Delhi, September 25, 2022
The Congress top leadership is upset with the political drama in Rajasthan, where supporters of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday closed ranks against Sachin Pilot succeeding him, and summoned both to Delhi, party sources said.
Gehlot, who is in the running for the Congress President's post, is understood to have told the party leadership that nothing is in his hands and it is up to the MLAs to decide.
In a new twist on Sunday, around 70 MLAs, who are staunch supporters of Gehlot, gathered at the residence of state minister Shanti Dhariwal in Jaipur to chalk out a strategy to eliminate Pilot from the race to select his successor.
As per state minister Pratap Khachriyawas, 92 MLAs are together and have decided to resign. "We have all the right to choose our leader and we will decide our leader," he said.
These MLAs reached the residence of Assembly Speaker C. P. Joshi to submit their resignation.
The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting called on Sunday at Gehlot's residence was cancelled in view of these developments.
"The MLAs want either Gehlot or his pick to be Chief Minister instead of Sachin Pilot," Khachariyawas told the media.
Gehlot reportedly received a call from Rajya Sabha MP and party general secretary K. C. Venugopal who asked him to "handle the situation" but the Chief Minister told the Congress' central leadership that it was "not in his hands".
Former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Pilot, meanwhile, is believed to be the central leaders' choice for the chief ministerial position.
A delegation from the Gehlot camp went to meet senior Congress leader Ajay Maken who is in Jaipur as observer for the CLP meeting.
These include Dhariwal, Khachariyawas and Mahesh Joshi.
Maken, speaking to the media, said: "We are not going to Delhi as of now. We have been asked to take feedback from each and every single MLA."