Team Gehlot’s 2 Key Demands As Congress Firefights Rajasthan Crisis

The Sachin Pilot-led rebellion in 2020 had threatened to topple the Ashok Gehlot government

Leaders from Congress’ central leadership will hold one-on-one meetings with MLAs from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s camp to find a way out of the crisis in Rajasthan, where infighting has brought the state government to the brink of a collapse again

Here are the top 10 developments of this big story

  1. Senior Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge are in Jaipur to resolve the current impasse after over 90 MLAs loyal to Mr Gehlot have threatened to resign if the Chief Minister’s post goes to his bitter rival Sachin Pilot.

  2. Mr Pilot is the high command’s choice for the top post if Mr Gehlot wins the election for  the Congress president post. While prominent leaders such as Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari are also contesting the polls, the Rajasthan Chief Minister is a frontrunner.

  3. Mr Gehlot has been reluctant to vacate the Chief Minister’s post for Mr Pilot, and had earlier said there was no hurdle to him holding on to the post even if he was elected Congress president.

  4. However, he changed his stand after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stressed that the party would stick to the “one man one post” rule as decided upon at the top party meet in Udaipur this year.

  5. Amid yesterday’s developments, Mr Gehlot said that the matter is not in his hands as the MLAs are angry and not ready to back Mr Pilot for the Chief Minister’s post. Despite his claim, it seems unlikely that the legislators would go this far without his blessing.

  6. The dramatic developments in Jaipur started last evening. Rajasthan Congress MLAs were to hold a meeting and pass a resolution, stating that they will follow the high command’s decision on the next Chief Minister.

  7. In a major deviation from the plan, MLAs loyal to Gehlot went to legislator Shanti Dhariwal’s residence and refused to attend the Congress legislature party meeting.

  8. They passed a resolution, stating that the new Chief Minister should be from among loyalists of Mr Gehlot, who stood by him when a rebellion led by Mr Pilot in 2020 threatened to topple the government. They also demanded that no legislature party meeting to choose the next Chief Minister be held till the party president election is over. 

  9. The 92 MLAs then went to Assembly Speaker CP Joshi’s residence to submit their resignation — clearly a pressure tactic to make the high command agree to their demand. The MLAs stayed put at the Speaker’s residence till late at night. Meanwhile, Mr Maken, Mr Kharge and Mr Pilot met the Chief Minister to find a way out.

  10. In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the support of 13 Independents. Most of these Independents are former Congressmen who support Mr Gehlot. These legislators were also present at Mr Dhariwal’s residence last evening.