Amid tussle over Gehlot's likely successor, loyalist MLAs submit resignations

Updated on Sep 26, 2022 06:03 AM IST

Rajasthan crisis: On Sunday, the crisis had unfolded when a crucial Congress legislature party (CLP) meeting was scheduled to take place at Ashok Gehlot's residence.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot (right) with former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot (left). (PTI file photo)
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot (right) with former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot (left). (PTI file photo)
Reported by Sachin Saini | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi

In late-night developments amid escalating political crisis in Rajasthan, a group of Congress MLAs - loyalists to chief minister Ashok Gehlot - submitted their resignations to assembly speaker CP Joshi. On Sunday, the crisis had unfolded when a crucial Congress legislature party (CLP) meeting was scheduled to take place amid buzz over the likely successor of Gehlot, who is set to contest the Congress presidential polls due next month. A group of about 90+ MLAs is believed to have submitted their resignation letters.

Hours after over 80 MLAs were seen boarding a bus, reportedly for the speaker's house to submit their resignations, a four-member delegation of Shanti Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi, Pratap Singh and independent legislator Sanyam Lodha conveyed to senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken that the CLP meeting should happen after October 19, once the presidential elections are over, people familiar with the developments said. If Ashok Gehlot gets chosen for the top party post, the chief minister should be appointed from 102 MLAs who stood by the party during the crisis in 2020, they added, referring to Sachin Pilot's revolt about two years ago.

Congress MLAs - loyalists to chief minister Ashok Gehlot - submitted their resignation to assembly speaker CP Joshi late Sunday. 
Congress MLAs - loyalists to chief minister Ashok Gehlot - submitted their resignation to assembly speaker CP Joshi late Sunday. 

Ashok Gehlot and Shashi Tharoor have emerged as frontrunners in the race of presidential polls for the party, and if elected, Gehlot would have to leave the CM's chair under 'one man, one post' rule of the party. There is speculation that Sachin Pilot would be Gehlot's likely successor.

On Sunday, his loyalists also said that Gehlot should be a part of decision making on the new chief minister. Denying to pass any resolution, they left the decision on party high command to choose the next CM for Rajasthan, people familiar with the developments highlighted. The MLAs left the speaker's house at 12 am.

Earlier in the evening, Congress observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken, along with Gehlot, had reached the chief minister’s residence where the Congress Legislature Party meeting was supposed to be held. Pilot was reported to have arrived too.

Also Read| We will not oppose if Sachin Pilot is made CM: Rajasthan minister

The group of legislators - loyal to Gehlot - held a meeting at state minister Shanti Dhariwal’s residence and then left for Speaker CP Joshi’s residence to submit their resignation.

“All the MLAs are angry and are resigning. We are going to the speaker for that. MLAs are upset that how can CM Ashok Gehlot take a decision without consulting them,” Congress MLA Pratap Singh Khachariyawas had told news agency ANI.

"CM Gehlot should pay heed to the suggestions of MLAs. We have 92 MLAs with us," he added.

After the Congress won the Rajasthan assembly elections in 2018, Gehlot and Pilot were said to have differences over the chief minister’s post. Gehlot was then chosen as the chief minister for the third time while Pilot was made his deputy.

Pilot had rebelled against Gehlot in July 2020 and camped in Haryana accompanied by MLAs who supported him. He finally announced his return to Rajasthan after the Gandhi family’s. He was reportedly assured him that his grievances will be addressed.

(With inputs from ANI)

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