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Kamal Nath To Meet Sonia Gandhi, May Mediate In Rajasthan Crisis

Ninety-two MLAs in Rajasthan threatened to resign yesterday, saying they want Ashok Gehlot -- front-runner for the post of the Congress national president -- to retain the post of the Chief Minister.

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Kamal Nath (Photo Credit: PTI)

New Delhi: The Congress high command has asked Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath to immediately come to Delhi amid the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, sources said on Monday. Following the crisis in the state, Kamal Nath is likely to mediate. The development came a day after a legislative party meeting was scheduled on Sunday evening at the residence of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the presence of observers for the state which included Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken, and was attended by Sachin Pilot and his camp MLAs.

However, the Gehlot loyalists had held a meeting with Cabinet Minister Shanti Dhariwal at his residence, following which over 90 MLAs submitted their resignations to Speaker CP Joshi. Ajay Maken on Monday termed the “parallel” meeting called by state Minister Shanti Dhariwal at his residence on Sunday an “indisciplined move” while also stating that the party has never allowed “conditional resolutions” to take place, as against the demands by the group.

“It is an act of indiscipline. When an official meeting has been called, and if a parallel unofficial meeting is conducted, it is an act of indiscipline. We will see what action to be taken,” Maken said earlier today. The two observers will return to the national capital today after the Gehlot camp MLAs refused to meet them.

Maken told reporters that three members from the Gehlot camp – Shanti Dhariwal, C.P. Joshi and Pratap Khachriyawas – had met them and put forward three proposals, which they did not accept as it raised conflict of interest. “Their first proposal was to announce the implementation of the resolution of handing over the final responsibility of appointing the chief minister to the Congress high command and to pass it after October 19. We told them that this raises conflict of interest, as if Gehlot is elected as the Congress president then this proposal will empower him further after October 19 and there can be no bigger conflict of interest than this so we did not do this,” Maken said.

Further, Maken said that their second condition was that they wanted to come in groups and when we said that we wanted to talk to each of them individually as it has been a practice of the Congress to take feedback from each leader. However, they did not accept this. “Their third condition was that the chief minister should be picked from the 102 MLAs loyal to CM Gehlot and not from the Pilot group,” Maken said.

Maken said that “the three Gehlot camp supporters insisted on us meeting their three conditions and we told them that their exact sentiments will be conveyed to Congress chief, who will take the decision after talking to CM Ashok Gehlot and everyone else.” “We waited for more MLAs to come but they didn’t come, Now Mallikarjun Kharge and I are going to Delhi to submit our report to the Congress president,” said Maken.

Nobody has any idea about the number and identities of the MLAs who have resigned or not, Maken said. Sachi Pilot is being seen as the successor of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who is all set to contest the Congress president election scheduled on October 17. The Rajasthan deputy chief minister conducted a second round of meeting late last night with the AICC observers. The Gehlot loyalists want someone from their own camp to be chosen as the next Chief Minister, instead of Pilot, who, according to them, had revolted against his own party back in 2020.

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