Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will meet the Congress high command in New Delhi today amid suspense over whether he will file nomination for the post of party president.
Gehlot’s visit comes a day after the Congress issued show-cause notices to three of his loyalists – Rajasthan ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi, and Dharmendra Rathore – for their “grave indiscipline”.
In report by PTI, The party’s disciplinary committee has asked the three to explain within 10 days why action should not be initiated against them after the observers for Rajasthan – Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken – in their report to party chief Sonia Gandhi charged them with “gross indiscipline”.
The action came after 82 MLAs participated in a parallel meeting at Dhariwal’s residence in Jaipur laying down conditions to the party and did not attend the official legislature party meeting convened for passing a resolution authorising the Congress chief to appoint a successor to Gehlot, who was to contest the Congress presidential election.
With the Rajasthan episode posing a significant challenge before the party, the Congress president has initiated discussions with senior party leaders from across the country to resolve the crisis even as the fate of Gehlot who was considered frontrunner for the top party post remained uncertain.
Several names have cropped up for the probable presidential candidate including Kharge, A K Antony, Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Ambika Soni and Pawan Kumar Bansal, though most of them ruled themselves out of the race.
The name of Gehlot for the top party post is, however, not completely ruled out yet, according to informed sources.
Among various senior leaders, Gandhi is learnt to have called Congress veterans A K Antony and Sushilkumar Shinde for consultations.
There is also a likelihood that fresh observers may be sent to Rajasthan and Shinde may be one of them. Gandhi is considering resolving the matter after consultations with top party leaders who are keeping their fingers crossed on the situation.