Will 'persuade' Rahul Gandhi first, says Ashok Gehlot amid buzz over Congress prez poll
The Congress will accept nominations for the party chief's post till September 30. The elections are scheduled for October 17 and the results will be declared on October 19. Ashok Gehlot called a meeting of Congress MLAs on Tuesday night, ahead of his visit to Delhi to meet party chief Sonia Gandhi amid speculation that he may contest for the post.
In a late night meeting, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot informed Congress MLAs that he would be making efforts to persuade Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to take the reins and lead the party as the president and said Congress MLAs would be asked to come to Delhi if he decides to file his nomination for the party president election.
He informed the MLAs that he would meet with Sonia Gandhi, the party's president, and would fly out to visit Rahul Gandhi, who is participating in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, a Congress march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, in order to mobilise support for the 2024 general election.
According to reports, Gehlot promised the MLAs that he would make "one final effort" to persuade Rahul Gandhi to become the new party leader. After Congress' disappointing performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi resigned from his position and has refused to do so ever since.
Gehlot called a meeting of Congress MLAs on Tuesday night, ahead of his visit to Delhi to meet party chief Sonia Gandhi amid speculation that he may contest for the post.
Following claims that Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to run for office, the names of Ashok Gehlot and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor have surfaced as the likely candidates for the top position in the Congress party. If Gehlot decides to submit his nomination for the party president election, he informed the party's MLAs that they will be required to travel to New Delhi.
After a Congress Legislature Party meeting at Gehlot's official residence, state Food and Civil Supplies Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas told the media, "The Chief Minister said that if he files nomination for the party's national president post, then legislators will get a message to reach New Delhi."
The nomination procedure for the Congress' organisational elections will start on September 24 and go until September 30. The election will take place on October 17, and the deadline for withdrawal of nominations is October 8. On October 19, the results will be made public.
Earlier, Gehlot said, "The country's Congressmen would be disappointed if Rahul Gandhi is not elected party president. Many people will sit at home and we will suffer. He (Rahul Gandhi) should accept this post by himself, understanding the sentiments of the common Congress people in the country."