Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday announced he will not contest Congress presidential elections.
Taking the moral responsibility for the political crisis in Rajasthan where Congress MLAs defied the high command, Gehlot said he apologised to Congress President Sonia Gandhi for the developments.
Gehlot met Sonia on Thursday after days of drama in Rajasthan. Congress MLAs loyal to Gehlot defied central observers and thwarted their move to hold a meeting of party MLAs. Instead, they held a parallel meet to pitch for Gehlot's continuation as chief minister or the guarantee that his bete noire Sachin Pilot does not replace him.
It is understood that the Congress high command wished Gehlot to contest the presidential election and make Pilot the Chief Minister of Rajasthan once Gehlot is elected. This is rooted in the Congress party's one person-one post rule.
Gehlot, a three-time state chief minister, described himself as a disciplined soldier of the party and expressed his sadness over the turn of affairs in the state. Asked if he will continue as chief minister, Gehlot said Sonia will decide on the issue.
(With PTI inputs)