A meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Rajasthan will be held at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence in Jaipur on Sunday evening, amid buzz of change of guard in the state.
With Gehlot announcing that he will contest the Congress’ presidential polls, and Rahul Gandhi clearing the party’s stand of ‘one man, one post’ norm, the meeting will likely discuss who will be Gehlot’s successor, one he quits the post, if elected as the Congress president.
AICC in-charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge will be present in the meeting.
AICC general secretary organisation K C Venugopal tweeted, “Congress President has appointed Mallikarjun Kharge as Observer along with jay Maken, General Secretary AICC, Incharge of Rajasthan, to attend the meeting of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly slated to be held on 25th September at 7 PM.”
This is the second CLP meeting within a week. The last meeting was held on September 20.
The Rajasthan CM was the first one to announce his candidature for the AICC presidential poll on Friday, saying that the call on his successor will be taken by Sonia Gandhi and Maken.
Gehlot also said that Rahul Gandhi has told him that no one from the Gandhi family should become the next party chief.
The chief minister also said that the call on his successor will be taken by Sonia Gandhi and Maken.
Gehlot’s remarks came after Rahul Gandhi batted for the “one man, one post” concept in the party, in line with the ‘Chintan Shivir’ reforms.
Talking to reporters in Kochi, where Rahul Gandhi is undertaking the Congress’ ‘Barat Jodo Yatra’, Gehlot had said, “I have decided that I will have to contest. It is a question of democracy and let us make a new start.”
Meanwhile, with Gehlot stepping down, speculations are rife that Sachin Pilot is the main contender for the CM’s post, but the name of Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi is also doing the rounds. Joshi is a former state Congress president.
Pilot on Friday had met the Speaker in his chamber in the state Assembly, where several party MLAs were also present.
After over two decades, the Congress is set to see a contest for the post of party chief. With Gehlot confirming his candidature, his contender will be Kerala Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, whose representative collected the nomination forms from AICC headquarters in Delhi on Saturday.
According to a notification issued by the party on Thursday, the process for filing nominations for the election will be held from September 24 to 30.
The date for scrutiny of the nomination papers is October 1, and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8, when the final list of candidates will be published at 5 PM.
The polling, if needed, will be held on October 17. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and the results will be declared the same day.