Ashok Gehlot still not out of Congress president race: Report
Despite a rebellion by 90+ MLAs loyal to him in Rajasthan, CM Ashok Gehlot has not been "kicked out" of the Congress president race, reports said. However, the Gandhis are upset with Gehlot for allegedly plotting the rebellion and embarrassing the party. Meanwhile, senior leaders like KC Venugopal, Kumari Selja, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Digivijaya Singh are also being considered for the top party post.
Why does this story matter?
The grand old party will hold the presidential election in October and, in all likelihood, may get a non-Gandhi leader at its helm. While Gehlot was considered the "Gandhi family" candidate, reports previously said that the political drama in Rajasthan over the weekend diminished his chances. However, NDTV has now reported that Gehlot is still in contention for the Congress president post, citing sources.
Congress leadership angry, but Gehlot not out
Congress leadership is furious with Gehlot for allegedly brewing a rebellion against fellow leader Sachin Pilot, who was to become the CM if Gehlot was elected the president. Per NDTV, Gehlot "embarrassed" Congress but is still in the race for the post and will meet Sonia Gandhi soon. Reportedly, Gulbarga MP Mallikarjun Kharge and ex-Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh are also in contention.
Kamal Nath says a hard no: Reports
Former MP CM Kamal Nath was reportedly the party's second choice for the president post after Gehlot. He also met Sonia on Monday. But he reportedly said a hard "no" to the position. Veteran leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Mukul Wasnik are also being considered for the post. Tharoor is most certain to contest. The election is scheduled to take place on October 17.
'Nomination form taken by Shashi Tharoor, Pawan Bansal'
Venugopal and Selja also rumored candidates
According to reports, Rajya Sabha MP KC Venugopal and senior leader Selja may also contest for the top post. Rahul Gandhi reportedly wants Venugopal, who is currently the party's general secretary, to take over the party's reigns. Selja, the former Haryana Congress president, has served as an MP from Ambala and Sirsa. Also a former Union minister, she is considered close to Sonia Gandhi.
What exactly happened in Rajasthan?
Gehlot reportedly wanted to hold onto his CM seat even after becoming party president but agreed to forgo it after Rahul's public "one man, one post" snub. On Sunday, an MLA meeting to discuss the next CM—for which Pilot was the top pick—in Jaipur went haywire as 90+ MLAs landed at the governor's doorstep, threatening to resign. Gehlot has since apologized for the incident.