NEW DELHI: As the political turmoil in Rajasthan got murkier and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot left for New Delhi to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, his senior colleague and cabinet minister Pratap Singh Khachariawas said that Gehlot won’t resign. He said that the CM is the guardian of party legislators and conveys the concern of around 102 MLAs to Congress's top brass in Delhi.
Kahcariawas said that Rahul Gandhi himself always says that democracy doesn’t exist in BJP, but there is democracy in the Congress and the voice of MLAs and party workers is heard. It is believed that Gehlot would have a one-on-one meeting with Sonia Gandhi and will apprise her of the political developments in Rajasthan. Meanwhile, Khachariawas denied speculations on Gehlot’s resignation. “We will all continue to work under the leadership of Ashok Gehlot.”
Ashok Gehlot’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi was deferred by a day. The meeting was initially scheduled for Wednesday evening but he kept delaying his travel plans. Finally, he sent word that he would leave for Delhi after a meeting on law and order at his home on Wednesday evening and meet with the Congress president on Thursday. On the other hand, former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot is already in Delhi and according to the sources, he is also seeking time from Sonia.
On Wednesday, there was a lot of stir at the CM’s residence as Gehlot held a meeting with state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal, Government Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi and Pratap Singh Khachariyawas at his residence. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal, Government Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi and RTDC Chairman Dharmendra Rathod are believed to have discussed the show cause notices served to them. CM Gehlot also spoke to Assembly Speaker CP Joshi.
However, despite Congress leaders holding meetings to douse the crisis, some leaders continued to make attacking remarks on rival camps. Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena from the Gehlot faction again made a big attack on Sachin Pilot, saying that he would not accept Pilot as CM.
“He who played along with BJP and Amit Shah should not be made a CM. We won’t accept him there is no one other than Ashok Gehlot for the post of CM,” he added. Meena said that the immature planning of CLP meetings is responsible for present crisis. On Sunday, about 90 MLAs of the Gehlot faction boycotted the CLP meeting called by the high command, demanding that Sachin Pilot not be made the Chief Minister, and held a parallel meeting at the house of UDH Minister Shanti Dhariwal. Later Gehlot supporters submitted their resignations on Sunday by visiting Speaker Joshi’s residence.