Rajasthan political crisis: Congress issues show-cause notice to 3 Gehlot aides | The Financial Express

Rajasthan political crisis: Congress issues show-cause notice to 3 Gehlot aides

The MLAs – Cabinet minister Shanti Dhariwal, party chief whip Mahesh Joshi and MLA Dharmendra Rathore – have been asked to respond to the notice within ten days.

Rajasthan political crisis: Congress issues show-cause notice to 3 Gehlot aides
Congress senior leader Shanti Dhariwal in Jaipur. (PTI Photo)

Amid the mounting crisis in the Rajasthan government, the Congress issued show cause notices to three close aides of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday accusing them of “gross indiscipline”, The Indian Express reported.

The MLAs – Cabinet minister Shanti Dhariwal, party chief whip Mahesh Joshi and MLA Dharmendra Rathore – have been asked to respond to the notice within ten days.

The Congress leaders have been asked to explain why they had organised a parallel meeting of MLAs on Sunday, when a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) was called on the day at the residence of the CM in Jaipur.

Also Read: Who will be new Congress president? Hunt on as Jaipur rebellion puts question mark on Gehlot’s candidature

The notices were sent on the basis of a report prepared by the Congress’ observers in Rajasthan, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken. The Congress disciplinary panel’s member secretary Tariq Anwar in the notice referred to Maken’s report.

“Prima facie, the above charges are an act of grave indiscipline. Therefore, this show cause notice is being issued seeking your reply within 10 days as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against you as per the provisions of the constitution of the Indian National Congress,” the notice read.

The report told Rajasthan PHED Minister Mahesh Joshi that he had conducted “grave indiscipline” on two counts; one for “boycotting” the official CLP meeting, and “participating and convening a parallel meeting of the MLAs”.

“As Chief Whip your presence at the unofficial and illegal meeting confused the MLAs as to which one was convened officially, the notice to Joshi said.

In his notice to Rathore, who is the chairman of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, Anwar said he “made all logistical arrangements and were behind the entire planning of the unofficial meeting of the MLAs”.

However, the report has neither indicted the Chief Minister Gehlot nor has given him a clean chit, IE said, quoting sources.

The crisis comes at a time when the CM is running for the post of Congress president, with party leader Rahul Gandhi clarifying that the “one man, one post” norm applies to the party. This would mean that if elected as the president of the Congress party, the CM can no longer be the head of the state.

Around 90 MLAs who are supporters of Gehlot claimed that they had tendered their resignation to the Speaker, who is yet to take a call on them. The MLAs demanded that a CM should be chosen from the 102 MLAs who were loyal to the Congress party in June 2020 when attempts were made to topple the Congress government.

Meanwhile, Gehlot on Tuesday had informed party interim president Sonia Gandhi that the parallel meeting of the MLAs was held without his knowledge and that he had no role to play in it, PTI reported. He added that he would abide by the decision taken by the party’s high command.

The Rajasthan CM had also held a close-door meeting with a group of Congress MLAs during which he had informed them of the ongoing developments.

Dhariwal had earlier alleged that there was a “deep conspiracy” to remove Gehlot as the CM, accusing Maken of promoting Gehlot’s rival Sachin Pilot in the state, NDTV reported.

Also Read: Rajasthan Congress passes resolution to make Rahul Gandhi the party’s national president 

Meanwhile, Joshi has maintained that the MLAs had not done anything that amounts to indiscipline.

““If we are asked for a clarification by the Congress high command in writing or orally, or we are sent any notice, then we will clarify our position,” Joshi said.

“There can be no doubt over our dedication towards the party and high command,” he added.

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