Jaipur, Sep 20: Amid rumours of running for the post of Congress president, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot called for a Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting in Jaipur at 10 pm on Tuesday where he asked his MLAs to come to New Delhi if he decides to file his nomination for the party’s top post.
Interestingly, it was held when his rival Sachin Pilot is in Kochi to participate in Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra.
In the meeting, the Chief Minister reportedly told the legislators that he will first visit Kochi to persuade Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra, to contest for the post.
“The Chief Minister will first visit Kochi and urge Rahul Gandhi to contest for the party president post,” PTI quoted a cabinet minister as saying.
After the meeting, state Food and Civil Supplies Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas told reporters, “The Chief Minister said that if he files nomination for the party’s national president post, then legislators will get a message to reach New Delhi.”
Gehlot is scheduled to go to Delhi, Kerala and Maharashtra, and has directed the legislators to ensure that the Assembly functions smoothly, Khachariyawas said.
The meeting was held after the Chief Minister hosted a dinner for newly elected Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar at his residence.
Surprisingly, it is held in the absence of Gehlot’s rival Sachin Pilot who had led rebellion against his government in 2020
The CM is expected to file nomination papers for the Congress Congress presidential election next week.
“He will return to New Delhi on September 24 and will be in the national capital till September 28. During this period, he is likely to file nomination for Congress president election,” a Congress leader aware of the matter told Hindustan Times.
Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot are the two top probable contenders for the office of the party President as Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to contest the Congress party’s presidential election scheduled to be held next month.
The Rajasthan Chief minister, however, has so far denied that he is a candidate and said he will try to convince Rahul Gandhi to contest.
The notification for the Congress president’s election will be out on September 22 and the process for filing nominations will be held from September 24 to 30.
The last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 8 and the election, if required, will be held on October 17. The results will be out on October 19.