After meeting with Sonia, Ashok Gehlot quits Congress president race
After days of political turmoil in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot quit the Congress president race. The 71-year-old announced his decision after meeting party president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Thursday. Meanwhile, former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh confirmed his participation in the polls and met fellow candidate Shashi Tharoor. According to reports, Mallikarjun Kharge or KC Venugopal may also file a nomination.
Why does this story matter?
- The grand old party will hold the presidential election in October and may get a non-Gandhi leader at its helm.
- While Gehlot was considered the "Gandhi family" candidate, reports said that the political "rebellion" in Jaipur over the weekend diminished his chances.
- With him out of the race, the party might witness a three-way contest between Tharoor, Singh, and another yet-to-be-named senior leader.
Once a frontrunner, now out of race
In a surprising turn of events, Gehlot, taking "moral responsibility" for the events in Rajasthan, said he will not run for Congress president. He purportedly also apologized to Gandhi for over 90 Congress MLAs threatening to resign if Sachin Pilot replaces him as the CM. The leader further clarified that Gandhi will decide if he would continue as the chief minister.
'One-line resolution our tradition, but…'
Delhi | One-line resolution is our tradition. Unfortunately, a situation arose that resolution wasn't passed. It was my moral responsibility, but despite being a CM I couldn't get the resolution passed: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot after meeting Sonia Gandhi https://t.co/anpX3MQXsG pic.twitter.com/r6dZhfud2I— ANI (@ANI) September 29, 2022
What did Gehlot say?
After a one-hour-long meeting with Gandhi, Gehlot said, "Whatever happened two days ago shocked us. It gave a message that all of it happened as I wanted to be CM. I apologized to her." He added, "I won't contest these elections in this atmosphere."
Singh, Tharoor to file papers on Friday
Meanwhile, veteran leader Digvijaya Singh confirmed his nominations for the post on Thursday. He will file his papers on September 30, as per reports. However, Singh has reportedly not discussed the move with the Gandhis, thus raising questions about the "official" candidate for the elections. He also met Tharoor, who will be filing his papers on Friday, the last day of filing nominations.
Tharoor, Singh 'hug' it out
Received a visit from @digvijaya_28 this afternoon. I welcome his candidacy for the Presidency of our Party. We both agreed that ours is not a battle between rivals but a friendly contest among colleagues. All we both want is that whoever prevails, @incIndia will win!✋🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/Df6QdzZoRH— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 29, 2022
Another player in the mix?
According to NDTV, anonymous Congress sources confirmed that another candidate may enter the race soon. Some names being reported include Gulbarga MP Mallikarjun Kharge, Haryana Congress leader Kumari Selja, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, and even former MP CM Kamal Nath, despite his refusal to contest earlier. The polls will take place on October 17, and the results will be announced on October 19.