Rajasthan Congress Crisis: Sonia Upset with Gehlot After Revolt by MLAs; Disciplinary Action Being Mulled Against CM Loyalists

said their decision to hold a parallel meeting amounted to indiscipline. The MLAs loyal to Gehlot had on Sunday night submitted their resignation letters over a possible move to appoint Sachin Pilot as the chief minister and also kept away from the legislature party meeting called by central party observers — Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge.

The Congress is likely to send show cause notices to Gehlot loyalists including state minister Shanti Dhariwal, sources said. The top leadership is upset with Gehlot loyalists as they skipped meeting with Congress observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken earlier today. The two observers are expected to meet Sonia Gandhi on Monday. Gehlot loyalists have conveyed their demands to the observers, stressing that the next CM should be chosen after October 19 when the presidential polls for the party are over.

The Congress government in Rajasthan plunged into a crisis as over 90 MLAs loyal to Ashok Gehlot submitted their resignation letters over a possible move to appoint Sachin Pilot as the next CM. The Gehlot loyalists headed to Speaker CP Joshi’s home after a long meeting in the evening at minister Shanti Dhariwal’s residence, saying they were resigning as MLAs. The MLAs will meet AICC observers Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday.

All this while, at the chief minister’s home, Gehlot and Congress observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken waited for all legislators to arrive for the CLP meeting on Sunday. Pilot and his supporters came but the meeting was a washout.

Gehlot loyalists claimed that over 90 MLAs went to Joshi’s home, but the number could not be verified independently. The Congress has 108 MLAs in the House of 200. There was no word from the Speaker’s office on the resignation letters.

Late at night, there were efforts by Kharge and Maken to persuade Gehlot loyalists to meet them one on one, if not as part of the planned MLAs’ meeting. Ministers Shanti Dhariwal, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas and Mahesh Joshi, along with CM Gehlot’s advisor Sanyam Lodha met the AICC observers, but the standoff continued.

On their return, sources said, they told the other loyalists that they had put forth three conditions. They wanted the decision on the next CM to be left till after the Congress organisational election and stressed that Gehlot should have a say in picking the new CM who should be someone who stood by the veteran leader during the rebellion by Pilot supporters in 2020.

Around midnight, the loyalists began dispersing from Joshi’s home. We have submitted our resignation and are now going home. The MLAs want that any decision on the CM’s should be taken only after the election of the party’s national president, minister Govind Ram Meghwal said.

The loyalists said the views of MLAs should be taken into account. Later, whatever decision taken by the high command will be accepted, independent MLA Babulal Nagar said.

The aborted CLP meeting was seen as crucial step ahead of Gehlot filing his nomination for the Congress president’s post, amid speculation that the former deputy chief minister Pilot will take his place in the state. Gehlot, seen by many as a reluctant candidate for the top party position, initially appeared unwilling to give up his CM’s post. Later, it was speculated that he would rather see C P Joshi — or anyone else — as CM rather than Pilot, who had rebelled against his leadership.

Read all the Latest Politics News and Breaking News here