Crucial Congress MLAs meet in Jaipur amid suspense over who will be next CM of Rajasthan

The meeting is expected to clear whether the observers are coming to convey a message of the high command on the name of new chief minister or going to take views of the legislators.
Congrees leader Rahul Gandhi with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)
Congrees leader Rahul Gandhi with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

JAIPUR: The suspense over who will succeed Ashok Gehlot as the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan may end at a meeting, to be held in Jaipur, shortly. The Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party meeting will be held at CM House where party veterans Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken will be present as observers on behalf of the Congress high command.

The meeting which was supposed to be held at 7 pm is now delayed, as per reports.

By calling a meeting of the Rajasthan Legislature Party, the Congress high command has made it clear that they want to decide in whose hands the steering of the government will be in the state where elections are due next year.

The question on everyone's mind is whether senior Congress leader Malikarjun Kharge and state in-charge Ajay Maken have a message from the high command for the MLAs of Rajasthan or are they coming to consult with the MLAs and then take a decision.

It is also being discussed whether AICC observers Kharge and Maken will take the final decision today itself or will they go to Delhi Monday and announce the decision.

A one-line resolution saying all Congress legislators have full faith in the party president's decision is likely to be passed during the meeting tonight, according to Gehlot.

"This has been a tradition in the Congress from the beginning that whenever the Legislature Party meeting is held at the time of election or for the selection of a chief minister, a one-line resolution is definitely passed to give all rights to the Congress president. And, I understand this will happen today too," Gehlot told PTI.

Till Saturday evening, the buzz was that only after the election of CM Ashok Gehlot as Congress National President, will there be a consultation with MLAs in Rajasthan about who should be the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan. But now it is being said that in the CLP meet on Sunday, CM Gehlot may resign from his post even before he files his nomination for the post of Congress party chief.

Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal had confirmed this very important meeting through a tweet late on Saturday night. He wrote that Sonia Gandhi has appointed Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken as observers for the meeting of the legislature party at the Chief Minister's residence on Sunday.

Sources say that even though Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has not been too visible on this matter, she is monitoring it behind the scenes. Many discussions are taking place in the political corridors, but everything depends on the party high command i.e., the Gandhi family.

Chances are also high that tonight's legislature party meeting may pass a resolution asking the Congress high command to decide who should be the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan. If the legislature party passes this resolution, there is a strong possibility of Sachin Pilot becoming the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan.

This is the second CLP meeting within a week. The last meeting was held on September 20.

Gehlot became the first person to announce his candidature for the AICC presidential poll on Friday and said former party president Rahul Gandhi has told him that no one from the Gandhi family should become the next party chief.

Gehlot also said that the call on his successor will be taken by Sonia Gandhi and the party's in-charge of the state.

Gehlot's remarks came a day after Rahul Gandhi batted for the "one man, one post" concept in the party, in line with the 'Chintan Shivir' reforms.

Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Friday had met Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi in his chamber in the state Assembly. According to party sources, Pilot is the main contender for the chief minister's post but Joshi's name is also doing the rounds.

After over two decades, the Congress is set to see a contest for the post of party chief with Gehlot, who has announced his candidature, expected to take on Shashi Tharoor, who collected the nomination forms from AICC headquarters in Delhi on Saturday.

Congress presidential elections: Key dates

  • September 24 to 30: The process for filing nominations for the election
  • October 1: The date of scrutiny of the nomination papers
  • October 8: The last date of withdrawal of nominations
  • October 17: The election, if there is more than one candidate, will take place on this date
  • October 19: Counting of votes, if necessary, and the counting of votes and the declaration of results will take place on this date

(With inputs from online desk)

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