Rajasthan Crisis, Congress Political Crisis Updates, September 28: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s loyalist and minister PS Khachariyawas on Wednesday confirmed that the CM will not be resigning today. The minister said: “Gehlot will go to Delhi at 5.30 pm and discuss about the opinion of 102 MLAs to the central leadership of the party. His visit to delhi was planned beforehand. He is the abhibhavak (guardian) of 102 MLAs. We have told him our opinions, it is his duty to raise our voice and the voice of people in Rajasthan. And he will raise it because he gave his word.” The minister added, “Whether he will file nomination or not, only Ashok Gehlot or the central leadership know about it.”
With the Rajasthan episode posing a significant challenge before the party, the Congress president has initiated discussions with senior party leaders from across the country to resolve the crisis even as the fate of Gehlot who was considered frontrunner for the top party post remained uncertain.
Two days after around 90 MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot skipped the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meet, the Congress’s chief whip in Rajasthan, Mahesh Joshi, on Tuesday defended what transpired on Sunday evening, adding that he is “ready to face the consequences”. Also, several MLAs and ministers met CM Gehlot in the evening while Sachin Pilot reached Delhi on Tuesday afternoon. With his nomination for party president’s post under cloud, sources said CM Gehlot told the ministers and MLAs that, “meri toh pehle bhi ichha nahin thi (I was not keen earlier too), rest is up to the party leadership”.
The Congress on Tuesday night issued show cause notices to two Rajasthan ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi and MLA Dharmender Rathore for their “grave indiscipline” and asked them to explain within 10 days why action should not be initiated against them. The party’s disciplinary committee sent the notices after Congress observers Mallkarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken submitted their written report to party chief Sonia Gandhi, charging the three with “gross indiscipline”. Disciplinary action had been sought against Dhariwal, who had figured prominently in the rebellion by the party legislators, Minister and Congress Chief Whip in the Assembly Mahesh Joshi and Rathore for holding a parallel meet of MLAs and not allowing the Congress Legislature Party to meet.