Rajasthan political crisis: Ashok Gehlot out of Congress presidential racetext_fields
New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will not file the nomination for the Congress presidential election, according to sources.
At present, senior party leaders KC Venugopal, Digvijaya Singh, and Mallikarjun Kharge are running for Congress's top leadership.
"He (Ashok Gehlot) is out of the Congress presidential race. There will be other leaders who will file the nomination before September 30. Mukul Wasnik, Mallikarjun Kharge, Digvijaya Singh, KC Venugopal are in the race," a Congress leader said.
"The way Gehlot behaved hasn't gone down well with the party leadership. They are very upset with him," said another leader who is a CWC member.
Ashok Gehlot also issued an apology to Kharge over the revolt of the MLAs who supported him, saying that the rebellion was a "mistake". He further said that "it should not have happened" and he had nothing to do with it.
Hitting back at Gehlot, Kharge further said that such a rebellion could not have happened without the knowledge of the chief minister.
This comes amid an ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan over leadership change following Gehlot's announcement earlier that he would contest the AICC president polls.
As many as 82 Congress MLAs submitted their resignation ahead of the party meeting where discussion on the next chief ministerial candidate was likely to be raised. As Ashok Gehlot had confirmed his bid for Congress presidential polls, there was speculation that Sachin Pilot would be appointed as the next Rajasthan CM. This was unacceptable to Ashok Gehlot loyalist who have yet to forgive Pilot for his earlier rebellion.
This led to a standoff between the Congress leadership and Gehlot loyalists, with party high command seeking a report from its party observers, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken, on the political situation in Rajasthan. Meanwhile, as crisis erupted over the Rajasthan CM post, Ashok Gehlot seems to be inching out of the Congress chief post race.
Notably, with top leadership standing by its policy of 'one person, one post', Ashok Gehlot had little chance to retain CM post if he became Congress chief.