Ashok Gehlot Meets Sonia Gandhi After Jaipur Fiasco

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Ashok Gehlot arrived in Delhi late last night for a meeting with the Congress president.

New Delhi:

Ashok Gehlot arrived for a meeting with Sonia Gandhi this afternoon after some delay amid turmoil over the Congress president election and the Rajasthan rebel crisis.

Ashok Gehlot arrived late last night for his meeting with the Congress president.

Ashok Gehlot, 71, was seen to be the Gandhis’ choice for Congress president and was to file his nomination papers today.

But a day before applications close for joining the Congress chief contest, there is uncertainty over Mr Gehlot’s next moves.

Sources say Mr Gehlot is upset about central leaders Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge blaming him for a rebellion by Congress MLAs loyal to him.

Mr Gehlot yesterday alleged a “motivated attempt to brand him a rebel” at the instance of the “BJP and some vested interests”.

Mr Maken alleged “indiscipline” after more than 90 Rajasthan MLAs threatened mass resignation over reports that Mr Gehlot would be replaced by his rival Sachin Pilot as Chief Minister if he ran for Congress president.

Sources say Mr Gehlot’s talks with the Congress leadership is stuck on two points. The Congress wants him to step down as Rajasthan Chief Minister before running for Congress president, sources say. And he has been told that he has to fall in with the leadership’s choice of who will replace him in Rajasthan.

For Mr Gehlot, it is a hard pass on both conditions.

Sources say efforts are on to bring around Mr Gehlot, a Congress veteran who has always been a trusted aide of the Gandhis.

In the meantime, Digvijaya Singh formally joined the contest, collecting 10 nomination forms today from the Congress office.

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