Ashok Gehlot Says “Can Hold 3 Posts” In Tussle With Sachin Pilot: 10 Facts

Sachin Pilot’s rebellion had almost brought down Ashok Gehlot’s government in 2020

Congress’s Ashok Gehlot is meeting party chief Sonia Gandhi for what is seen as a strategy session on his candidature in the election for party chief. A frontrunner for the job, Mr Gehlot is reluctant to give up the Rajasthan Chief Minister post.

Here are the top 10 developments of this big story

  1. Mr Gehlot is keen on keeping arch-rival Sachin Pilot out of the top post in Rajasthan. Amid speculation on whether his move to Delhi may lead to an opening for Mr Pilot, he said, “One person can remain a minister and also be elected Congress president”. He even added that he can easily juggle not one, but three posts.

  2. Senior party leader Digvijaya Singh, however, told NDTV that Ashok Gehlot will have to resign the Rajasthan post if he takes up the top job in the party. “One cannot be Chief Minister and party chief,” Mr Singh said, pointing to the party’s “One man one post” rule.

  3. In case he has to move to Delhi, Mr Gehlot wants a loyalist as Chief Minister back home, sources said. Else, he would want to balance both jobs by taking over as working president of the Congress with Sonia Gandhi as full-time chief, it is learnt.

  4. Mr Gehlot has already told the Congress leadership that he wants to stay on as Rajasthan Chief Minister for a while even if he becomes the party chief, sources said, apparently to block Mr Pilot’s attempt to fill up the political vacuum.

  5. Mr Gehlot has said that he would “fulfill any responsibility that is given. Post is not important for me”. Asked if he will continue as Rajasthan Chief Minister, he said, “time will tell”.

  6. Later today, Mr Gehlot will move south to meet Rahul Gandhi, who is on the Bharat Jodo Yatra — the Congress march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to rally support ahead of the 2024 general election.

  7. Mr Pilot had joined Rahul Gandhi on the yatra in Kerala, but he would have left by the time Mr Gehlot reaches. When NDTV asked him on whether he thinks Mr Gehlot will have to step down as Chief Minister if he contests the internal election, Mr Pilot evaded the question.  

  8. At a meeting with Rajasthan MLAs last evening, Mr Gehlot, 71, reportedly said he would keep serving Rajasthan wherever he goes.

  9. “Main kahin nahin ja raha, chinta mat karo (I am not going anywhere, don’t worry),” he had said – a statement seen as an indication that he would not give up the Chief Minister’s post.

  10. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has also got a go-ahead from Sonia Gandhi to run for party chief. While Mr Gehlot is a staunch loyalist of the Gandhi family, Mr Tharoor was part of 23 senior party leaders who demanded sweeping reforms in the party in a letter to Mrs Gandhi in 2020.

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