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Explainer: Did Gehlot Indirectly Refuse Gandhi Family's Will?

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday announced that he is not contesting for the party president anymore

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The election for the post of Congress President is becoming thrilling with time. The name that came out first at the surface for this position, is now out of the race. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday announced that he is not contesting for the party president anymore.

Gehlot apologised to party president Sonia Gandhi for not holding a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party in Jaipur and for the ruckus in the Rajasthan Congress.

CM's seat under threat?

In a struggle between the supporters of Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, where the president's post slips out of his hands, there stands a threat for the chief minister's seat as well.

With the withdrawal of the election for the post of Congress President, there appears a doubtful situation if Ashok Gehlot would continue as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. After meeting Sonia Gandhi at her residence on 10 Janpath, Gehlot also said that Sonia Gandhi will decide whether he will continue as the CM.

Force of Power

Whatever developments happened in Rajasthan within the past days, it can be indicated that CM Gehlot has the force of power. Gehlot was in Delhi after his MLAs showed strong objection to the Congress Legislature Party meeting in Rajasthan. 

Earlier this week, his loyalists tendered a conditional resignation to the Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly saying they would not accept Sachin Pilot as Gehlot's successor. The unexpected standoff caused great embarrassment to Congress and put the Gandhi family on a war path with Gehlot's loyalists.

However, after meeting Sonia Gandhi, Gehlot said, "I have been a loyal soldier of Congress for the last 50 years. The incident that happened two days ago shook us all, only I can know the pain I am in. A message has gone out across the country that I want to continue as the Chief Minister, that's why all this is happening. I am the chief minister and the leader of the legislative party, this resolution could not be passed. I will always be sad about this, I have apologised to Sonia Gandhi."

Gandhis' first choice was Gehlot

Ashok Gehlot, considered closest to the Gandhi family, was not ready for the election of the president at first. He had said that he would convince Rahul Gandhi to become the national president. He also participated in the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala and also spoke to Rahul, but Rahul stuck to his decision of not contesting the elections and made Gehlot ready to contest the elections.

Gehlot agreed, but the ruckus started in the Rajasthan Congress. The fight between the Gehlot faction and the Pilot faction, which had stopped 4 years ago, began again. Gehlot was always interested in living in Rajasthan and continuing as the Chief Minister of the state, and he managed to keep what he wanted and gave up something that he was never too keen about.

Why was there a stir in Rajasthan?

The only reason behind the stir in the Rajasthan Congress was the chief minister's post. When Ashok Gehlot's name came up for the post of Congress President and he also agreed to the election, the question arose as to who would be the next CM of the state.

Regarding this, the high command sent Ajay Maken and Malikarjun Kharge to Rajasthan as observers. With the arrival of Maken and Kharge, the MLAs of the Gehlot faction revolted. They had an apprehension that Sachin Pilot would be made the new Chief Minister.

More than 100 MLAs of the Gehlot faction boycotted the meeting of the legislature party and reached the Speaker of the Assembly to resign. On the other side, the Sachin faction started preparing for the celebration to see Pilot as a pro-chief minister of the group.

Sonia Gandhi was disappointed with the ruckus in the Rajasthan Congress, she summoned Maken and Kharge and asked them to submit the report. Show cause notices were issued to the rebel MLAs on the recommendation of observers, although Sonia Gandhi gave a clean chit to Ashok Gehlot.

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