National Politics

“Strict Action Will Be Initiated”: Congress Warns Rajasthan Leaders In New Advisory

Caught in midst of infighting in Rajasthan, with party President election scheduled soon, the Congress today issued a stern warning in a new advisory to leaders from the state to refrain from commenting on other party leaders and internal matters of the organisation. This comes after Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and apologised for the drama that ensued when the central observers had gone to his state to pass a resolution at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting.

Congress, in an advisory issued on Thursday, said: “We are noticing statements of Congress leaders in Rajasthan regarding the Party’s internal matters and against other leaders.”

“It is advised that all Congress leaders at any level should refrain from making public statements against other leaders or about Party’s internal matters,” the advisory noted.

“Strict disciplinary action will be initiated under the provisions of the Constitution of the lndian National Congress if any violation of this advisory is made,” warned the advisory, undersigned by AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal.

After Congress’ declaration at Udaipur regarding ‘one person, one post’ policy, the party had announced the schedule for the organisational election. Ashok Gehlot was considered the top runner for the post, with Gandhis reportedly backing the veteran leader. Mr Gehlot’s elevation to the post of President would have resulted in him resigning from the post of CM, as Rahul Gandhi stressed on the Udaipur declaration when asked about it. Mr Gehlot, after Mr Gandhi’s statement, had agreed to resign as Chief Minister.

On Sunday, the Congress high command had sent two central observers- Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken- to formally announce the transition at a meeting of MLAs at Mr Gehlot’s home. However, only about 20 to 25 MLAs showed up at Mr Gehlot’s home. Majority of Congress MLAs, instead of attending the CLP meeting at Gehlot’s home, showed up at a different meeting at the home of Shanti Dhariwal, a minister close to Mr Gehlot.

After the meeting at Mr Dhariwal’s home, the MLAs took a special bus to speaker CP Joshi’s  house and threatened to resign if Mr Gehlot was replaced as Chief Minister by his rival Sachin Pilot, who had led a rebellion against the Mr Gehlot government in 2020 but had to return to party fold after the high command reportedly assured him of the CM post in following years.

However, the MLAs who met the speaker refused to meet with the two central leaders individually, in a direct confrontation with orders of party President Sonia Gandhi. The MLAs also put fore conditions that included choosing a new Chief Minister only after the Congress president election. They also demanded that no one from the MLAs who rebelled in 2020 should be made the CM, and Mr Gehlot should have a say in choosing his successor.

Though three ministers close to the CM had engineered the the rebellion, Mr Gehlot denied any link to it, citing his visit to a shrine near the India-Pakistan border that morning where there was no phone reception. Mr Gehlot reportedly told the central leaders: “Nothing is in my hands. The MLAs are angry.”

The central leadership did not believe that Mr Gehlot had no role in the drama that unfolded in Rajasthan, as 92 MLAs could not threaten resignation without his support and encouragement.


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