Have faith in Sonia Gandhi: Rajasthan CM Gehlot tells MLAs
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday held a crucial 'confidence building meeting' with Congress lawmakers, including ministers, at his residence urging them to have faith in Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The meeting comes only days after the state's political turmoil deepened following a failed Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting over the likelihood of Sachin Pilot succeeding Gehlot as the next chief minister.
Why does this story matter?
- The Congress party held a meeting in Jaipur on Sunday to discuss the next chief ministerial candidate; Pilot was thought to be the front-runner. This was done in preparation for Congress's impending presidential elections.
- Although Gehlot is the front-runner for the position of party president, he is hesitant to give Pilot the chief minister's chair because of the party's "one person, one post" policy.
MLAs reiterated demand regarding choice of CM
According to Hindustan Times, the meeting of MLAs with Gehlot was not arranged. They wanted to meet him because they were in the city. They did, however, discuss the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan. "The MLAs reiterated their demand that he continue or choose the new chief minister from 102 MLAs who remained loyal to him when Pilot revolted," HT quotes sources as saying.
90+ Gehlot loyalists resigned to stop Pilot's CM bid
The legislators loyal to CM Gehlot erupted on Sunday over the prospect of Pilot replacing him. Following the CLP meeting, about 90 lawmakers allegedly went to Speaker CP Joshi and resigned. They had urged that if Gehlot is elected president, the new CM be picked from among the 102 MLAs who backed the party when Pilot rebelled in 2020.
'Gehlot should be part of decision making for CM'
According to reports, Gehlot supporters had refused to pass a resolution on the future chief ministerial candidate, instead leaving it to the top leadership. They said Gehlot should be able to choose his successor. Observers for the CLP meeting, Mallikrjun Kharge, and Ajay Maken urged the loyalist MLAs to meet with them one on one. However, Pilot had arrived for the CLP conference.
Congress high command furious, but Gehlot still in race
Congress is unhappy with Gehlot for reportedly plotting a coup against fellow leader Pilot, who intended to become CM if Gehlot was elected president, NDTV had reported. Gehlot "embarrassed" Congress, but he remains in the contest and will meet the party president soon. According to reports, Gulbarga MP Kharge and ex-Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh are also in the race now.