With elections coming up for the party president's post, the Congress has surrounded itself with a new crisis in Rajasthan. On Monday, 26 September, All India Congress Committee (AICC) observers Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge met Rajasthan Congress MLAs and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, in the wake of the ongoing crisis in the state.
This came after over 90 Congress MLAs submitted their resignation to Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi to protest against the likely decision to make Sachin Pilot the state's chief minister, if Ashok Gehlot were to resign from the post to fight the Congress presidential elections.
However, sources suggest that in view of the crisis in the state, Ashok Gehlot may drop out of the Congress president's race.
Here are the latest developments amid the ongoing political turmoil.
Here's Everything That Has Happened So Far
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, the front-runner for the post of the Congress president, can now be out of the race, sources have told The Quint. This comes a few days after he had confirmed his nomination for the post.
With Gehlot dropping out, as suggested by sources, some new names are doing the rounds for the party president's post – Digvijaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik, Kamal Nath, Kumari Selja, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Sushil Kumar Shinde to name a few.
Meanwhile, AICC observers Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge, who were in Rajasthan to assess the situation, met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Monday. Maken said that Gandhi has asked for a written report, which he will submit tonight (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday).
The observers also said that the final decision will be taken by Sonia Gandhi.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also arrived at Sonia Gandhi's residence, after the latter's meeting with the observers.
Congress high command has also asked Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath to arrive in Delhi. He is expected to mediate the Rajasthan Congress crisis.
According to Maken, Rajasthan Congress MLAs Pratap Khachariyawas, S Dhariwal, and Mahesh Joshi have placed three demands before the party. The first is to hand over the responsibility to appoint the CM to the person elected as Congress president after 19 October, to which Maken said that "it'll be a conflict of interest," if Gehlot becomes the president.
The second demand is that the MLAs wanted to meet the AICC observers in groups, instead of individually as requested by the latter. "We made it clear that this isn't how it works, but they didn't accept," he said.
The third condition is that the CM should be from among the 102 MLAs who are loyal to CM Ashok Gehlot, instead of Sachin Pilot.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Congress MLA Ganga Devi said that she did not read the letter and she has not resigned. "I have no idea about the letter, I reached there late. I had not read the letter, and I did not resign. We are with whatever the high command decides. We were to meet the observers but we couldn't go," Devi said.