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Rajasthan Crisis: Congress Observers Give Clean Chit To Ashok Gehlot, Recommend Action Against 3 Party Leaders

Rajasthan Crisis: Congress Observers Give Clean Chit To Ashok Gehlot, Recommend Action Against 3 Party Leaders

Rajasthan: Nearly 25 state Congress MLAs met CM Gehlot at his residence at Jaipur in the evening, indicating solidarity with the leader amid turmoil in the party's state unit.  

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.(File photo) PTI

Congress observers for Rajasthan on Tuesday recommended disciplinary action against three party leaders, including two ministers, for the crisis in the state, but did not seek any action against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

The three Gehlot loyalists against whom action has been recommended are Cabinet Minister Shanti Dhariwal, Minister and Congress Chief Whip in the Assembly Mahesh Joshi, and MLA Dharmendra Rathore.

The observers - Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken - submitted their report to party chief Sonia Gandhi Tuesday evening, flagging "gross indiscipline" on the part of some leaders who organised a parallel meet of MLAs instead of joining a Congress Legislature Party meeting.

The two observers had to return from Jaipur without holding the CLP meeting as a large group of MLAs considered loyal to Chief Minister Gehlot refused to join it and put forth certain conditions for the selection of Gehlot's successor.

The sources said the report has not sought any action against Gehlot even as it recommended action against three of his loyalists. However, it has pointed out that the parallel meeting of MLAs was held with Gehlot's knowledge.

The Congress observers' report pointed to the "gross indiscipline" on the part of some Rajasthan leaders who organised the parallel meet of MLAs and did not allow the CLP meeting to take place.

The report came a day after the observers briefed Sonia Gandhi on the developments and she had asked them to submit a written report. 

Congress MLAs meet CM Gehlot at his residence in Jaipur

Nearly 25 Rajasthan Congress MLAs met CM Gehlot at his residence in the evening, indicating solidarity with the leader amid turmoil in the party's state unit.  

Sources said the legislators included ministers Bhanwar Singh Bhati, Saleh Mohammad, Ashok Chandna and Sukhram Vishnoi. MLAs Meena Kumari, Rafiq Khan, Khushveer Jojawar, Amit Chachan, Madan Prajapat and Jagdish Jangid were also present there. 

The sources said no discussion about the Congress president’s election was held and the MLAs gave the CM feedback about the political situation in the state. Party sources said the CM said he has no ambition for any post and had apprised party president Sonia Gandhi of it in August.

"Nearly 25 MLAs, including ministers, met the CM. They gave feedback to the CM. No discussion about the presidential election was held, " the sources said.  

The sources said Gehlot told them to go back to their areas and work strongly.

The Congress in Rajasthan plunged into a crisis on Sunday as several MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot resigned over a possible move to appoint Sachin Pilot as Gehlot's successor. Their rebellion erupting just ahead of a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting.  

Upset over the open rebellion, Congress president Sonia Gandhi sought a written report on it from party observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken on Monday as the chances of Gehlot becoming the party chief receded and other names cropped up for the post. 

The Congress observers on Tuesday recommended disciplinary action against Gehlot loyalists Cabinet Minister Shanti Dhariwal, Congress Chief Whip in the Assembly Mahesh Joshi and MLA Dharmendra Rathore.  

They, however, did not seek any action against Ashok Gehlot. 

On Tuesday, Gehlot's former deputy Sachin Pilot arrived in Delhi. Sources close to him said his visit was due to personal work and has nothing to do with the political developments. 

(With PTI inputs)
 

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