Contest for Congress president poll looks inevitable
Ashok Gehlot is to file nomination papers for the post of President of the All India Congress Committee on the 24th of September. Is he a dummy to Rahul Gandhi? Another proposal is that Rahul Gandhi is made Leader of the Parliamentary Party. It is a natural choice to become automatically a Prime Ministerial nominee.
Will the G-23 oppose it?
Will the others accept this formula? To work under Gehlot? A massive crisis is brewing among top Congress Leaders. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) will opt for Ashok Gehlot as a Rajya Sabha member in December 2022.
Gehlot’s son will join a Sachin Pilot cabinet
Mallikarjun Kharge, P Chidambaram, Digvijay Singh, and Anand Sharma are senior to Gehlot and it is a moot point if these leaders would work under Gehlot.
Ashok Gehlot has been insisting on holding two offices (Congress president and chief minister of Rajasthan). Sonia Gandhi stated that is impractical. Quick installation of Sachin Pilot as Chief Minister of Rajasthan is to take place.
In fact, the likelihood of Gehlot filing papers anytime between September 24 and 30 may mark his exit as chief minister.
Is the G-23 putting up a candidate?
The first day for filing nomination papers for the Congress president is nine days away but hectic behind-the-scenes activities indicate a contest is very much on the cards. The dissenters within the Congress have closed ranks to force a contest regardless of whether a Gandhi or a non-Gandhi family member enters the fray. A Lok Sabha MP from among G-23 has reportedly firmed up his mind to contest the Congress presidential polls with full knowledge of rebel nominees.
The official Congress establishment, busy with Bharat Jodo Yatra, has reportedly zeroed in on Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot as its nominee. Gehlot’s skills as an organizational man, caste factor, and high stature within the Congress hierarchy make him a somewhat ideal non-Gandhi Congressman for the top
Ashok Gehlot, 73, enjoying his third stint as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, secretly relishes the prospect of being an elected Congress president. But as a seasoned Congressman, rather than a politician among the politicians, he does not want to make his desire obvious. Also weighing on his mind is the choice of his successor in Jaipur. Once again, the public posture is somewhat deceptive. The insistence on holding two offices (Congress president and chief minister of Rajasthan) is impractical. In fact, the likelihood of Gehlot filing papers anytime between September 24 and 30 may mark his exit as chief minister. The logic is simple: a Congress presidential nominee facing a contest can not be holding an office where he/ she can influence the electors, i.e. Pradesh Congress delegates, with the exception of Subhas Chandra Bose and Purushottam Das Tandon, who have not won the presidential election. Both Bose and Tandon had to subsequently quit due to resistance from Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, respectively.
Once again, the public posture is somewhat deceptive.
Gehlot is well aware of these lofty principles of “free and fair” polls, having witnessed them since 1971 when he formally joined the grand old party. In his August 23 meeting with Sonia Gandhi, it is believed that Gehlot had tried to broach the “Rajasthan question,” but the AICC interim chief and Congress Parivar matriarch had reportedly told him gently not to bother with issues that were in her (Sonia’s) domain. The leadership, it is reliably learned, is open to the issue of drafting Gehlot’s son Vaibhav as a minister under the new chief minister and considers Gehlot senior for a Rajya Sabha berth whenever a vacancy arises.
Long live dynastic rule!
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