Senior Congress leader and former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot met Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s in Delhi on Thursday, hours after his bete noire and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Mr Pilot’s meeting came after Mr Gehlot announced that he would not contest the Congress presidential poll after taking “moral responsibility” for the political crisis in his state.
Mr Gehlot also said the decision on whether he would remain Chief Minister would be taken by Ms Gandhi.
“It is often debated that BJP and Congress government keeps coming every five years [in Rajasthan]. I don’t see any reason why Congress cannot return for a second consecutive term in Rajasthan in 2023. We will work towards this,” Mr Pilot told reporters after meeting Sonia Gandhi.
The meetings come days after an open rebellion by Mr Gehlot’s loyalists over a possible leadership change in the state that raised the possibility of Mr Pilot taking over as Chief Minister as the senior leader drew closer to the job of Congress President.
The party’s disciplinary committee has asked three Gehlot loyalists — Rajasthan ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi, and Dharmendra Rathore — to explain within 10 days why they shouldn’t face disciplinary action.
This was after observers for Rajasthan, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken, charged them with “gross indiscipline” in a report to party chief Sonia Gandhi.
Eighty-two MLAs participated in a parallel meeting at Mr Dhariwal’s residence in Jaipur, laying down conditions for the party. They did not attend the official legislature party meeting convened for passing a resolution authorising the Congress chief to appoint a successor to Mr Gehlot.
With the Rajasthan episode posing a significant challenge before the party, the Congress President has also been holding discussions with senior party leaders from across the country to resolve the crisis.