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Published On: Tue, May 28th, 2019

Congress Crisis: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot meets Rahul Gandhi

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14th-RajastjhanGOB54GDON3jpgjpgNEW DELHI : Congress President Rahul Gandhi made some sort of a U-turn on his much talked about decision to quit as Congress party president after agreeing to staying on as party’s supremo, not before putting forth some conditions of his own before senior party leaders.
Sources placed close to this development, Rahul agreed to hold onto the party’s top position but laid down certain conditions before party leaders, bringing an end to a long standing deadlock between him and the party.
Gandhi had a series of visitors on Tuesday with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as well as Rajasthan’s ruling duo Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot calling on him amid rumblings of discontent in the state and his insistence on quitting. Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Pilot met Gandhi at his residence
Congress’ top leadership is reviewing why the party failed to win a single seat in Rajasthan, where it recently wrested power from BJP.Amidst attempts to convince him to change his mind about stepping down as party president, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday held a meeting with his sister and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, and Congress communication head Randeep Surjewala.
Mr. Gandhi also separately met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at his 12, Tughlaq Lane residence. There may be more meetings in the evening even though there was no official word on it.
Though none spoke to the media, presence of both the Rajasthan leaders is being taken as an indication that Congress’ top leadership is reviewing why the party failed to win a single Lok Sabha seat in the State despite winning the Assembly elections just five months ago.
Upset with the party’s performance, Mr. Gandhi announced his decision to quit as party chief during last Saturday’s Congress Working Committee (CWC). And in a rare outburst, Mr. Gandhi had blamed senior party leaders of putting their personal interest above party in these States. Theses leaders, the Congress chief pointed out, never moved beyond the seats of their sons.
While Mr Gehlot’s son, Vaibhav, unsuccessfully contested from Jodhpur, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son, Nakul, won from Chhindwara and former Finance Minister P Chidamabaram’s son, Karti, won from Sivaganga.
The near wipe out of the Congress in the Hindi heartland — especially in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, where it is the ruling party — came under scrutiny of the CWC.“The decimation of the party in the States where we are in power is a matter of serious concern. There is need for thorough introspection and corrective action,” Mr Surjewala had said at the official briefing soon after the CWC
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot gave only a fraction of his time to campaign for his son, sources close to him said today, countering allegations that his preoccupation with his son’s campaign has led to the party’s resounding loss in the state.

The BJP had won all 25 Lok Sabha seats of the state less than six months after the party wrested power from the Vasundhara Raje government. Most of the blame has been laid at the door of the Chief Minister by followers of the Sachin Pilot camp.
Sources close to the Chief Minister said “rumours” were being spread about his public meetings during the Lok Sabha campaign.The Chief Minister has addressed 104 rallies and public meetings across Rajasthan. Of these, only 11 were in Jodhpur – his home turf from where his son Vaibhav Gehlot contested and lost, sources said.
“Mr Gehlot went for nominations of 22 candidates out of 25. He visited each constituency at least three times. In Jodhpur, he held only 11 meetings and went there for only 9 of the 52 days during the campaign from March 14 to May 4,” a source said, presenting a fact-sheet containing the details of the rallies and meetings.

The clarification comes days after Rahul Gandhi’s tough talk at a party meeting on Saturday about senior leaders who fielded their sons in the election and confined themselves to their campaign, ignoring the party’s needs in key states. While Mr Gandhi did not name anyone, there was speculation that his words were directed, among others, at Ashok Gehlot.
The Chief Minister, who was present at the meeting, later said the party president “has the right to point out any shortcomings that may have happened during the campaign “.
Today, both Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot came to New Delhi to visit Rahul Gandhi, but could only meet his sister. Mr Gandhi has been adamant about quitting his post. He has not met many people since announcing his intentions at the Working Committee meeting on Saturday.(With Agency Inputs ).

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