Political Crisis in Rajasthan: A day after three Rajasthan Congress MLAs, close to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, were sent show-cause notices over not toeing the party line, the Rajasthan Chief Minister is slated to visit the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday afternoon. This move comes amid uncertainty around Gehlot filing his nomination for the October 17 Congress presidential elections. The last date for filing nominations is on September 30 while October 8 is the last date for withdrawing nominations.
With the party sticking to the ‘one man, one post’ rule adopted in Udaipur, many within Congress including Sachin Pilot, the frontrunner for the CM’s post should Gehlot run for the Congress president, have asked CM Gehlot to step down to avoid any conflict of interest. On Sunday night, as Congress observers for the state Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken called for a Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting, Gehlot loyalists including Shanti Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi and MLA Dharmendra Rathode had called parallel meetings at their place.
The political drama intensified when 90 miffed Congress legislators from Rajasthan tendered their resignation to Speaker CP Joshi. Instead of Congress MLAs meeting Kharge and Maken individually according to the party diktat, Dhariwal, Joshi and Rathode met the Congress observers and handed a three-point demand — that the CM be chosen from among the 102 MLAs who were loyal to party back in 2020 when Pilot had led a revolt, that the CM must not be chosen before the Congress presidential results are declared and that Gehlot’s decision on this matter should be considered.
While Gehlot claimed no knowledge of the revolt led by his loyalists, both Maken and Kharge said that the CLP meeting was called only after consulting with Gehlot. In their written report to Sonia Gandhi, Kharge and Maken cleared Gehlot of any conspiracy charges. Soon after the report, the three MLAs were sent show-cause notices by the Congress high command, demanding a reply over their act of “indiscipline” within ten days.