Won't contest in Congress pres poll: Gehlot after meeting Soniatext_fields
New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said on Thursday that he would not contest the presidential poll of the party, and the chief ministership of Rajasthan will be decided by the party president Sonia Gandhi, IANS reported.
Gehlot made the announcement after an hour-long meeting with Sonia.
He said, "In this environment, I don't want to contest, and the issue of chief ministership will be decided by the party's high command. Whether I remain, the CM will be decided by Madam (Sonia Gandhi)... I am a loyal soldier of the Congress from Indiraji's time. I have expressed regret and sadness over whatever happened in Jaipur."
IANS reports that Gehlot carried a set of papers while he was at Sonia's residence at 10 Janpath and one of the papers carried the words, "Whatever has happened is sad, and I am also hurt."
During his statement after the meeting, he said, "I have always acted as a loyal soldier of the party. The incident that happened on the day of the legislature party meeting has left everyone shaken. It gave a message as if I wanted to continue as the Chief Minister, so I apologised to her.
Sonia-Gehlot meeting happens a day before the last date of turning in the nominations for the presidential polls. Before the meeting, Sonia's emissary, Mukul Wasnik, had met Gehlot.
However, it is learned that senior leader Digvijaya Singh would file a nomination for the high seat. It was his own decision to contest the poll, and none from the Gandhi family asked him to, sources told IANS.
At first, Congress had planned to field Rajasthan CM Gehlot for the presidential post, but with the severe drama that occurred in Rajasthan, Congress undermined the plan.
The presidential election of Congress is scheduled on October 17.