Ashok Gehlot Meets Sonia Gandhi For Session On Party Polls: 10 Facts

Sachin Pilot’s rebellion had almost brought down Ashok Gehlot’s government in 2020

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is meeting party president Sonia Gandhi at her Delhi home to discuss the upcoming election for the post of Congress chief. A frontrunner for the post, Mr Gehlot is reluctant to give up the top job in Rajasthan.

Here are the top 10 developments of this big story

  1. Mr Pilot had joined Rahul Gandhi on the yatra in Kerala, but by the time Mr Gehlot reaches, he will have left. When NDTV asked him on whether he thinks Mr Gehlot would have to step down as Chief Minister if he contests the party president election, Mr Pilot evaded a direct reply.  

  2. “I will fulfil any responsibility that is given. Post is not important for me,” Mr Gehlot said today. He said “time will tell” if he continues as Rajasthan Chief Minister. 

  3. Mr Gehlot said the election to choose Congress president is an “open” process and anyone can contest. “One person can remain a minister and also be elected Congress president,” he said, amid speculation on whether his move to Delhi may pave way for bitter rival Sachin Pilot occupying the Chief Minister post.

  4. In a meeting with Rajasthan MLAs, the 71-year-old leader reportedly told Rajasthan MLAs that he will file his nomination for the Congress chief’s post but “tha soon door nahi (I will not be far from you).”

  5. Mr Gehlot said he will keep serving Rajasthan wherever he goes. “Main kahin nahin ja raha, chinta mat karo (I am not going anywhere, don’t worry),” he said, in a clear indication that he has no plans to give up the Chief Minister’s post.

  6. Mr Gehlot has reportedly told the MLAs that he would try to convince Rahul Gandhi “one last time” to take over as the party president. Mr Gandhi stepped down from the post after Congress’ poor show in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and has refused to return since.

  7. According to sources, Mr Gehlot has told the Congress leadership that he wants to stay on as Rajasthan Chief Minister for some time even if he becomes the party chief, apparently to block Mr Pilot’s attempt to fill up the political vacuum.

  8. Asked if he can handle two posts simultaneously, Mr Gehlot said, “I will do anything that benefits the party, 1 post, 2 posts or 3 posts, I won’t back down.”

  9. Sources said if he needs to move to the national capital, Mr Gehlot would want a loyalist in the power seat back home. If not, then he would want to keep both roles by taking over as working president of the Congress with Sonia Gandhi as full-time chief, it is learnt.

  10. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has also got a go-ahead from Sonia Gandhi to run for party chief. While Mr Gehlot is a staunch loyalist of the Gandhi family, Mr Tharoor was part of 23 senior party leaders who demanded sweeping reforms in the party in a letter to Mrs Gandhi in 2020.

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