Gehlot pulls out of Congress presidential race after meeting with Sonia Gandhi
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met with interim party president Sonia Gandhi to apologise
He apologised for the political crisis caused by his announcement of running for the Congress presidential elections
Gehlot was asked to step down as Rajasthan's CM if he was running for the elections
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has announced that he will not be running in the Congress presidential polls. His statement comes right after he met the current Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi.
Gehlot was in New Delhi to apologise for the uproar his announcement had caused on Sunday. When asked whether he would be staying on as the Rajasthan chief minister, he said that the decision would be taken by Sonia Gandhi.
Speaking to reporters he said that he had always been a disciplined soldier of the Congress and that he would not be contesting the party's presidential elections. Gehlot reiterated that it was his decision.
The drama behind the saga
The 71-year-old's meeting with Sonia Gandhi comes after his announcement on September 24 that he would be interested in filing his nomination to become the next President of the Indian National Congress. As a result of his announcement, the party's high command sent a command down the line reiterating its 'One Person, One Post' policy.
To contest the party's presidential elections, Gehlot would have to resign as chief minister, something that his loyalist MLAs refused to accept. To prepare for that eventuality, senior Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge decided appoint Sachin Pilot as the new Rajasthan CM, something with Gehlot loyaliss disagreed with.
As a result, 92 MLAs submitted their resignation to C.P. Joshi, the Speaker of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on the night of September 25. Joshi refused.
Maken and Kharge were called back to to Delhi to deal with the fallout as the Congress scrambled to tackle the issue before it got out of hand.
In other news, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor is expected to submit his nomination papers for the presidential elections of the All India Congress Committee on Saturday.