Amidst the dense clouds over the candidature of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, the senior leader of the party Digvijay Singh today has indicated that he may consider fighting for the top post. As per the media reports Singh will reach Delhi on Thursday and will meet the high command.
Speaking to India Today, Singh said, “I am seriously considering filing a nomination, but haven’t taken a final decision. I will arrive in Delhi tonight and take a final call.”
For the last few days since the rebellion in Rajasthan Congress camp the names of senior leaders like K C Venugopal, Kamal Nath, Digvijay Singh and Mallikarjun Kharge have been doing the rounds.
Kamal Nath Out of the Race
While Digvijay Singh has expressed his intent to run for the president, his close political contender Kamal Nath, the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh whose government was allegedly toppled in connivance with Singh, told the media that he would focus on upcoming election of his home turf. Madhya Pradesh is scheduled to face assembly polls in 2023.
As Nath reached Delhi a day before and met Sonia Gandhi, speculations were rife that the senior leader is going to fight for the post. However, decimating all the presumptions, Nath said, “I will not take this responsibility because this will take away my focus from Madhya Pradesh. I don't want to divert my focus from Madhya Pradesh.”
Further emphasizing on the significance of Gandhis in the party he noted that the elections are held only because Rahul Gandhi has denied to be the president. Comparing the internal democracy of Congress with that of BJP Nath said that when J P Nadda became BJP president there was no election, nobody even took the suggestions of even 10 leaders.
Notably, yesterday while giving an interview the former BJP Chief Minister Gujarat Vijay Rupani told The Indian Express that last year when he was asked to resign from the CM’s post, he did not even ask the party high command about the reasons. Now, taking over as the Punjab state-in-charge of the beleaguered state party, the former CM noted that the party makes the CM and when the party needs it has the full authority to remove him.
Gehlot to Meet Party High Commands
In contrast to the hierarchical discipline of the BJP, the indiscipline within the Congress ranks and file has become seemingly uncontainable. Amidst all the conundrums and presumptions, Rajasthan Chief Minister has reached Delhi to meet the party high command. The visit of Gehlot came in the backdrop of Congress issuing show-cause notices to three of his loyalists - Rajasthan ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi, and Dharmendra Rathore - for their "grave indiscipline" on the day of the CLP meeting at Gehlot’s residence.
While the Congress observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken waited to start the meeting, 82 Gehlot-loyalists gathered at Dhariwal’s residence and followed by discussions submitted their resignations to assembly speaker C P Joshi.
The claims of the rebels were against the probable elevation of Sachin Pilot to the CM’s post. The rebel MLAs made it clear that they would accept anyone as CM but Pilot. Sachin Pilot was allegedly engaged in efforts to topple the Gehlot Government in 2020.
In a parallel development, party’s central election authority chairman Madhusudan Mistry yesterday said that AICC treasurer Pawan Bansal also collected form from him. However, Bansal later clarified that he received it for someone else without revealing any name.
Meanwhile Congress President Sonia Gandhi met senior leader A K Antony and is believed to have discussed the probable names of the candidates. Earlier, Gandhi clarified that she would take a neutral position and there would be no official candidate from the party.
As possibility of Gehlot fighting the election is high even after the rebellions within, other prospective candidates are also throwing their hats into the ring. Only on September 30, the last date of nomination, the picture of the candidates will be clear. Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor has already declared that he will file his nomination on the last day.