King Cong Who? With Gehlot Out, More Names Popping Up; Pilot Meets Sonia Amid Rajasthan Fiasco

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Last Updated: September 29, 2022, 22:40 IST

File photo of Ashok Gehlot (left) and Sachin Pilot. (Image: PTI)

If there is more than one candidate, the election will take place at all Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters on October 17 between 10 am to 4 pm. The result will be announced on October 19

Thursday turned out to be a day of frantic developments for Congress as the Rajasthan political crisis kept the party involved in a series of discussions at Delhi’s 10, Janpath and suspense over the contenders for Congress president’s election became more intense. While on one side, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot opted out of the party chief poll race, on the other, Digvijaya Singh entered the fray for the same.

With Friday the last date for filing nominations, Congress leaders are in hectic discussions to solve the political conundrum that has everyone guessing who all will contest the poll for party chief.

After scrutiny of nominations on October 1, the last date of withdrawals is October 8. If there is more than one candidate, the election will take place at all Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters on October 17 between 10 am to 4 pm. The result will be announced on October 19.

Let’s have a look at key developments throughout the day:

  • Gehlot, a three-time state chief minister, said that he will not contest the Congress presidential polls as he took moral responsibility for the political crisis in Rajasthan, and said the decision on whether he would remain CM would be taken by party chief Sonia Gandhi. He said that he apologised to Sonia Gandhi for the developments on Sunday when MLAs supporting him defied the central observers and thwarted their move to hold a meeting of party legislators.
  • “The events that happened (on Sunday) has shaken all of us. Only I know how hurt I am because a message went that I want to remain CM. I have apologised to Sonia ji because a simple resolution, which is our tradition and which we always pass, a situation emerged that it could not be passed. I, as a CLP leader, whatever the reasons, could not get the resolution passed,” Gehlot said, adding that the decision on whether he would remain CM would be taken by Sonia Gandhi.
  • Meanwhile, another Congress leader Digvijaya Singh collected nomination papers for the party chief poll and will file his nomination on Friday. In an exclusive interview to CNN-News18, he said, “Its a free and fair election. If I am told specifically to step down I will withdraw. I am a loyalist soldier of the party. Until and unless I don’t get directives from leadership I will not withdraw.”
  • Singh also met Shashi Tharoor, who said they agreed that theirs is “not a battle between rivals but a friendly contest” among colleagues. “Received a visit from Digvijaya Singh 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!,” tweeted Tharoor tweeted, who has already declared that he will file his nomination for the post of Congress president on Friday.
  • After attending a series of meeting at 10, Janpath to discuss the current Rajasthan crisis, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said Sonia Gandhi will take a decision on the state CM’s post within a day or two.
  • The Congress has issued an advisory for all its Rajasthan leaders and warned of strict disciplinary action against them for making public statements on the party’s internal matters and against other functionaries. Venugopal said all Congress leaders at any level should refrain from making public statements against other leaders or about the party’s internal matters.
  • According to news agency PTI sources, senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge is being considered a frontrunner for the top post and will be meeting Sonia Gandhi on Friday. Other names – Mukul Wasnik and Kumari Selja – are also doing the rounds.
  • Today evening, former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot met Sonia Gandhi and said discussed the current situation in the state. “I met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and we discussed the events in Rajasthan in detail. I have conveyed my sentiments, given my feedback to her. We need to work together. I am sure we will work hard and in 10-12 months will form Congress government again in Rajasthan,” he said.
  • Meanwhile, two G23 members – Manish Tiwari and Anand Sharma – said they will take a call on filing a candidate depending on who will be the “official” candidate for Congress presidential election.

(with inputs from PTI)

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