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Rajasthan Congress crisis Highlights: CM Gehlot not resigning today, will meet central leadership in Delhi this evening, says PS Khachariyawas

Rajasthan Crisis, Rajasthan Congress Crisis. Rajasthan Political Crisis LIVE Updates, September 28, 2022: MLAs meet Gehlot, Mahesh Joshi says ready to face consequences; Cong issues show cause notice to 3 Gehlot loyalists.

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: September 29, 2022 6:44:49 am
Rajasthan Congress: With high command not keen on Ashok Gehlot contesting anymore, talk revolves around who will take on Shashi Tharoor.

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.

Live Blog

Rajasthan political crisis: Gehlot and Pilot were at loggerheads over the chief minister's post soon after the Congress won the Assembly elections in December 2018.

21:42 (IST)28 Sep 2022
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot leaves for Delhi

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot leaves for Delhi from Jaipur.

19:31 (IST)28 Sep 2022
Chhattisgarh minster Singh Deo slams MLAs loyal to Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Chhattisgarh minister TS Singh Deo on Wednesday slammed Congress MLAs loyal to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for indiscipline and "disobeying" the observers sent by the party high command, which was "inappropriate".

He also wondered how a senior leader like Gehlot could not control the MLAs and such a situation surfaced.

“The way some ministers and MLAs (in Rajasthan) crossed every limit of discipline was inappropriate..It is not acceptable that they boycotted observers sent by the party high command and skipped the meeting (of Congress legislature party),” Singh Deo told reporters here.

The Congress unit in Rajasthan plunged into a crisis after 82 MLAs participated in a parallel meeting held at the Jaipur residence of a minister loyal to Gehlot laying down conditions for the party.

They did not attend the official legislature party meeting convened for passing a resolution authorising the Congress chief to appoint a successor to Gehlot, who was to contest the Congress presidential election.

“Instead of speaking before the media, they should present their opinion or whatever condition they wanted to put in the meeting of the legislature party. It has been the tradition of Congress that the final call on any issue is taken by the party's high command. We have seen that the opinion of every MLA is sought independently (by party observers) but they (rebel MLAs) wanted to supersede this process and meet in the group which is against the transparent and democratic system of the party,” said Singh Deo, who holds health and family welfare portfolios.

Singh Deo said he was surprised that such a situation surfaced despite the senior leader like Gehlot being there.

"It was his accountability (to keep them in order). He had been meeting the party's high command. Then how did the situation go out of control (in Rajasthan)? How did 92 MLAs reach the Speaker's house tendering their resignations and refusing to go before party observers? It is sad, surprising and unacceptable,” he said.

Queried if he doubted the ability of Gehlot, Singh Deo said, “such things come to mind when a person is in pain".

"We were seeing him (Gehlot) as the front runner for the post of the party president as a lot of discussions over its possibilities were going on. He served the prominent positions within the party.

"If someone is unable to keep his house in order, then the question will come to mind if, in Rajasthan, Gehlot ji is not able to deliver then what will happen to me (as a Congress leader). What will happen to my family (Congress) at the national level...If those who are supposed to deliver their responsibilities at that level fail, then who will suffer loss? It is the Congress party leader and workers and the party will suffer,” he said.

In July, Singh Deo, locked in a turf war with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, had resigned from the Panchayat and Rural Development department, hinting that he was sidelined in the government though he continued to hold the other four portfolios.

The development was seen as the fallout of an old political rivalry between Baghel and Singh Deo, who was seeking the chief minister's post under a purported power-sharing agreement. PTI

15:55 (IST)28 Sep 2022
CM Gehlot not resigning today; Will meet central leadership in Delhi this evening: PS Khachariyawas

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot will go to Delhi this evening. He will further discuss about the opinion of 102 MLAs to the central leadership of the party. CM Gehlot is not resigning today, there are no such talks of it, said Gehlot loyalist PS Khachariyawas, according to news agency ANI.



15:46 (IST)28 Sep 2022
#OnlyInExpress | Ashok Gehlot interview: ‘A leader holding two posts won’t be able to do justice to Congress presidency’

Hours before Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday reiterated that it was expected that the party’s commitment to “one person, one post” would be followed in its presidential polls, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told The Indian Express that the principle laid down in the Congress’s Udaipur Declaration was meant for nominated posts and not ones for which elections are held. However, he added that a leader who gets elected “will not be able to justify the Congress presidency” if he or she holds two posts.

He also spoke of what will happen in Rajasthan if he becomes the next Congress president. Excerpts...

15:45 (IST)28 Sep 2022
On Gehlot’s turf Jodhpur, quiet confidence: ‘Even if he steps down, he will decide what changes’

Among some Congress workers in Jodhpur, there seems to be a consensus, or perhaps wishful thinking, that while it is confirmed that Ashok Gehlot will contest the Congress presidential elections and even go on to win it, he may still have a few cards up his sleeve –—and retain the Chief Minister post. At best, he will ensure that it is handed over to a “like-minded” person, which means someone other than his former deputy Sachin Pilot.

These days, the topic of discussion at the ‘hathais’ or ‘addas’ around tea stalls, paan shops and temples in the lanes in some of the older localities of Jodhpur are concerning the city’s tallest leader since the time of the Maharajas. Read more.

15:34 (IST)28 Sep 2022
How Gehlot’s deft power play makes Congress leadership cut a sorry figure

THE DEFT power play by veteran Ashok Gehlot in full public glare in Rajasthan Sunday, after having announced his decision to contest for the high-stake Congress presidential election, has once again raised questions on the party leadership’s ability to manoeuvre decisions towards desired outcomes.

The Congress leadership – the Gandhi family – were caught off guard by the strategic play by Gehlot who emphatically signalled he would not be a pushover and would like to remain the king in his backyard. This despite the fact that Gehlot had been very clearly indicating he would like the views of the MLAs to be heard on the issue of selecting his successor. Read more.

12:40 (IST)28 Sep 2022
CM Gehlot to visit Delhi, meet Congress high command

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will meet the Congress high command in New Delhi on Wednesday amid suspense over whether he will file nomination for the post of party president, sources here said.

Gehlot's visit comes a day after the Congress issued show-cause notices to three of his loyalists - Rajasthan ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi, and Dharmendra Rathore - for their "grave indiscipline".

The party's disciplinary committee has asked the three to explain within 10 days why action should not be initiated against them after the observers for Rajasthan - Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken - in their report to party chief Sonia Gandhi charged them with "gross indiscipline".

The action came after 82 MLAs participated in a parallel meeting at Dhariwal's residence in Jaipur laying down conditions to the party and did not attend the official legislature party meeting convened for passing a resolution authorising the Congress chief to appoint a successor to Gehlot, who was to contest the Congress presidential election. (PTI) 

10:02 (IST)28 Sep 2022
Rajasthan crisis explained: What led the Rajasthan MLAs to resign & what are their demands?

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09:18 (IST)28 Sep 2022
Congress chief whip, defiant ministers, outspoken MLAs: Meet those in middle of Rajasthan crisis

The shaky truce between the Rajasthan Congress factions loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot unravelled on Sunday as the state was once again pushed into a political crisis.

This time, MLAs backing Gehlot skipped the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting convened by the party’s high command and tendered their resignations to Assembly Speaker CP Joshi. While the legislators on the CM’s side have been vocal, those in the Pilot camp have not yet publicly commented on the tussle. The Congress on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to Gehlot loyalists Shanti Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi and Dharmendra Rathore.

Check out who the main players in the ongoing political drama are.

09:17 (IST)28 Sep 2022
Amid Rajasthan Congress crisis, T S Singh Deo says justice should be done in Chhattisgarh

AMID A full-blown crisis in Rajasthan where a Congress Legislature Party meeting to set in motion the process of finding a successor to Ashok Gehlot as the Chief Minister could not take place, senior Chhattisgarh Congress leader and state Cabinet Minister T S Singh Deo said he was still hopeful of a change of guard in his state although he will be completely subordinate to the decision of the high command.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Singh Deo said, “One always feels that justice should be done.”

09:16 (IST)28 Sep 2022
What the Rajasthan political crisis highlights: Congress effectively has no high command

A few days after Sonia Gandhi had taken over as Congress president after ousting Sitaram Kesri in 1998, I met former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao for an informal chat. In the course of the conversation, he remarked, “Ab 25-30 saal ke liye is parivar ke haath mein chali gayi yeh party (Now this party will go into the hands of this family for the next 25-30 years)”. Rao turned out to be prophetic. But now, the influence the Nehru-Gandhi family has exercised in Congress affairs for a quarter of a century is waning.

There was a time when chief ministers of states would get the shivers if the high command sent them an emissary like GK Moopanar, ML Fotedar, Buta Singh or Sitaram Kesri. It could be a one-line resignation for the CM to sign, or a diktat for the CLP to authorise the Congress president to choose a CM. Read full Opinion piece by Neerja Chowdhury here

09:13 (IST)28 Sep 2022
MLAs meet Gehlot, Mahesh Joshi says ready to face consequences

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”. Read more

21:55 (IST)27 Sep 2022
Cong issues show cause notice to 3 Gehlot loyalists after party observers seek action

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".

"This show cause notice is being issued seeking your reply within 10 days as to why disciplinary action not be taken against you as per the provisions of the constitution of the Indian National Congress," the notice by disciplinary panel secretary Tariq Anwar said.

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 Joshi and Rathore for holding a parallel meet of MLAs and not allowing the Congress Legislature Party to meet. (PTI)

19:41 (IST)27 Sep 2022
Pilot’s right-hand man to detractor, the arc of a Gehlot loyalist’s journey

Just before the Rajasthan Assembly election results were going to be announced in 2018, a video of Jaipur district Congress president Pratap Singh Khachariyawas went viral on social media. In it, he was heard saying that Ashok Gehlot cannot decide who should be the chief minister and it was a decision to be made by the Congress president (then, it was Rahul Gandhi).

At the time, with exit polls predicting a victory for the Congress, Sachin Pilot was thought to be a front-runner for the CM’s chair. Khachariyawas was counted as Pilot’s right-hand man and an indispensable ally at the time, someone who took the lead in countering leaders from the Gehlot camp. Read more

19:28 (IST)27 Sep 2022
Congress observers submit report on Rajasthan developments to party chief Sonia Gandhi: Sources

Congress observers recommend disciplinary action against 3 party leaders including ministers and chief whip, according to sources. 

The report submitted by the observers points to 'gross indiscipline' on part of Rajasthan MLAs who organised parallel meet, the sources added. However, there was no direct reference to CM Ashok Gehlot in the report seeking disciplinary action against some of his loyalists:(PTI)

18:52 (IST)27 Sep 2022
BJP behind conspiracy to topple Cong govt in Rajasthan: State minister

Amid an ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, state minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas alleged on Tuesday that the BJP has again started hatching a conspiracy to topple the Congress government.

On the other hand, another minister, Rajendra Singh Gudha, once again endorsed senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot's name for the chief minister's post. "ED, income tax department, CBI officials are sitting in Rajasthan. BJP's game has started. BJP is again engaged in a conspiracy to topple the Rajasthan government," Khachariyawas told reporters.

He said whatever decision the Congress high-command takes as regards the latest political developments in the state will be acceptable to all. (PTI)

17:55 (IST)27 Sep 2022
Gehlot loyalists' meet wasn't for mounting pressure on high-command: Cong chief whip

Amid an ongoing political turmoil in the Congress in Rajasthan, the party's chief whip in the state, Mahesh Joshi, on Tuesday said a meeting of the MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was not called to mount pressure on the party high-command.

Joshi said this while reacting to All India Congress Committee (AICC) observer Ajay Maken's "indiscipline" remark for holding the meeting. He said the MLAs have expressed their view so that it reaches the high-command.

Joshi also said if the MLAs were not loyal to the Congress, the government would have fallen much earlier. "I am saying again and again that speaking your mind is not mounting pressure. We have not created any pressure on the high-command but have tried to express our views. Whatever decision the leadership takes, we will obey it," he told reporters. (PTI)

16:16 (IST)27 Sep 2022
Sachin Pilot reaches Delhi amid political crisis in Rajasthan

Amid the political crisis that has gripped Rajasthan, Congress leader Sachin Pilot arrived in Delhi on Tuesday, ANI reported.

13:53 (IST)27 Sep 2022
Congress MLAs supporting Sachin Pilot for Chief Minister's post arrive at his residence in Jaipur

Congress MLAs supporting Sachin Pilot for Chief Minister's post arrived at his residence in Jaipur this afternoon. 

13:39 (IST)27 Sep 2022
Ashok Gehlot’s most trusted, Shanti Dhariwal, comes through for him again, hosts his loyalist MLAs

There is a reason Ashok Gehlot trusted Shanti Kumar Dhariwal with his 90-plus loyalist MLAs amidst the game of thrones in Rajasthan. On Sunday, the MLAs camped in Dhariwal’s backyard, thus take air out of the official CLP meeting called to determine Gehlot’s successor as Chief Minister.

With his hospitality, the 78-year-old MLA from Kota North once again demonstrated why he is regarded as one of Gehlot’s fiercest supporters, even ready to take on the high command on his behalf.

Congress observer Mallikarjun Kharge and Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken kept waiting to hold the CLP meeting – they returned on Monday without any success – as the party MLAs stayed put at Dhariwal’s house, and later submitted their resignation to Speaker C P Joshi. (Read More)

Sources in the Gehlot camp claimed Pilot had been calling up MLAs telling them he would be elected the CLP leader before Gehlot files the nomination. (Express file photo)

How Gehlot's deft power play makes Congress leadership cut a sorry figure

THE DEFT power play by veteran Ashok Gehlot in full public glare in Rajasthan Sunday, after having announced his decision to contest for the high-stake Congress presidential election, has once again raised questions on the party leadership's ability to manoeuvre decisions towards desired outcomes.

The Congress leadership – the Gandhi family – were caught off guard by the strategic play by Gehlot who emphatically signalled he would not be a pushover and would like to remain the king in his backyard. This despite the fact that Gehlot had been very clearly indicating he would like the views of the MLAs to be heard on the issue of selecting his successor.

With the Congress leadership more or less not keen on Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot contesting the party presidential election after the events that unfolded in Jaipur on Sunday, a sense of uncertainty has gripped the party over the contest. With just three days left for the nomination process to close, the leadership is trying to navigate the situation despite professing neutrality in the event of a contest. According to sources, senior Congress leader A K Antony has been called to Delhi for discussions. On Monday, she held talks with veteran leader Kamal Nath who is not keen to leave Madhya Pradesh.

Amid the political crisis in Rajasthan, Congress leader and Rajasthan former deputy minister Sachin Pilot arrived in Delhi on Tuesday. However, there was no confirmation about his schedule here with sources close to him saying that no meetings were fixed so far. CM Gehlot has indicated earlier that he is keen for a leader close to him to be appointed the successor. He is against Sachin Pilot taking over and hence, the resignation of the MLAs is likely a signal that he wants to continue as Chief Minister till he is elected Congress president. Gehlot and Pilot were at loggerheads over the chief minister's post soon after the Congress won the Assembly elections in December 2018.

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First published on: 26-09-2022 at 08:59:49 am
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