Congress leadership adopts carrot and stick policy after Gehlot's anti-Pilot revolt

Action is also likely against party’s chief whip in the state Mahesh Joshi who reportedly did not make an effort to bring the MLAs together to meet the two central leaders.

Published: 28th September 2022 01:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2022 07:47 AM   |  A+A-

hectic day for congress leaders: Ajay Marken emerging after meeting party's interim president Sonia Gandhi. (Photo | PTI)

hectic day for congress leaders: Ajay Marken emerging after meeting party's interim president Sonia Gandhi. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

The Congress leadership on Tuesday adopted a carrot and stick policy to persuade Ashok Gehlot and his revolting loyalists to fall in line with the party's high command and give up their all-out attempts to stop Sachin Pilot from becoming the Chief Minister.

Even as senior party leaders were roped in to coerce Chief Minister Gehlot to resign and enter the race for the party president's post, the party high command girds up its loins to crack the whip on Gehlot loyalists' and ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi. The two spearheaded the protest against signing the resolution authorising interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi to appoint a new Chief Minister after Gehlot files the nomination papers for the party presidential polls.

It was Dhariwal who had called the MLAs to his residence and prevented them from meeting Maken and central observer Mallikarjun Kharge. Dhariwal had openly accused Congress general secretary in charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken of trying to persuade MLAs to support Sachin Pilot. He said Maken had come with an agenda to install Pilot who was considered a “traitor” by a majority of party MLAs because of his earlier bid to form a government with the help of the BJP.

Besides, action is also likely against party’s chief whip in the state Mahesh Joshi who reportedly did not make an effort to bring the MLAs together to meet the two central leaders.

Senior leaders including Ambika Soni are on a mission to convince Gehlot to take up party presidency after relinquishing the Chief Minister's post, said sources. He has been told that the party leadership is ready to put the unsavoury episodes that unfolded in Jaipur behind and get on with the organisational elections. Party leaders in Delhi have not lost hope of Gehlot acceding to the high command' wishes.

Gehlot is not averse to giving up chief ministership and entering the presidential race. But he does not want to hand over charge in the state to Pilot. He says he would hand over the chief ministership to any one from the 102 MLAs who had stayed loyal to the party when Pilot had walked out, but not the latter.

Sonia Gandhi has asked the two central observers to submit a report on the Jaipur rebellion. Maken has already termed the behavior of party MLAs as indiscipline.

Gehlot loyalists in firing line

Shanti Dhariwal: Minister for Urban Development and Housing. Convened meet of MLAs in Gehlot camp at his home on Sunday ahead of the CLP meet scheduled for 7.30 pm. Their numbers swelled from about 25 around 6 pm to beyond 70 later

Dharmendra Rathore Very close to Gehlot. State Tourism Development Corporation chairman. He is a political appointee. Was involved in the show of strength against the high command’s diktat

Mahesh Joshi: Congress Chief Whip. PWD Minister. Coordinated with loyalist MLAs, asking them
to reach Dhariwal's house on Sunday night. Now says AICC observer Ajay Maken misread their actions



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