Ashok Gehlot Says Sorry, Sonia Gandhi Decision On Him Soon: 10 Facts

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

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

New Delhi: Ashok Gehlot today apologised to Sonia Gandhi and said he will not run for Congress president, taking "moral responsibility" for the Rajasthan revolt. The Congress said Sonia Gandhi will decide "in a day or two" whether he will remain Chief Minister.

Here are the top 10 developments of this big story

  1. Asked whether Ashok Gehlot will continue as Rajasthan Chief Minister, Congress leader KC Venugopal told reporters: "That decision will be taken by the Congress president in a day or two." Ashok Gehlot had earlier said he has left it to Sonia Gandhi.

  2. With his abject apology and an election next year, Ashok Gehlot may just hold on to his job despite a massive, embarrassing revolt that would not have been possible without his support. More than 90 MLAs threatened mass resignation over reports that if Mr Gehlot ran for Congress president, he would be replaced by his rival Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot met with Sonia Gandhi this evening.

  3. Ashok Gehlot dropping out of the race means a third candidate for Congress president, who has the blessings of the Gandhis, could be named soon. Nominations close tomorrow for the first Congress election in over two decades with non-Gandhi candidates.

  4. So far, it looks like a Digvijaya Singh versus Shashi Tharoor contest in the October 17 election. Both will file their nominations tomorrow. 

  5. Digvijaya Singh met with Shashi Tharoor after announcing his decision to contest. Sharing a photo of the two hugging, Mr Tharoor tweeted: "I welcome his candidacy for the Presidency of our Party. We both agreed that ours is not a battle between rivals but a friendly contest among colleagues. All we both want is that whoever prevails, Congress will win!"

  6. Ashok Gehlot was seen to be the Gandhis' first choice for Congress president, until the rebellion by Rajasthan Congress MLAs loyal to him damaged his chances. The MLAs said they would not accept Sachin Pilot, who had rebelled against Mr Gehlot in 2020, as his replacement.

  7. The MLAs laid out conditions before two central leaders, Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge, who described the rebellion as "gross indiscipline" in their report to Sonia Gandhi. Three ministers close to Mr Gehlot were asked to explain their role in engineering the rebellion within 10 days.

  8. The Congress wanted Mr Gehlot to step down as Rajasthan Chief Minister before running for Congress president. He was also told that he must respect the leadership's choice of who will replace him in Rajasthan. 

  9. Mr Gehlot wanted to keep his Rajasthan job even while running for party chief. Rahul Gandhi last week made it clear that is not possible as the party would stick to its resolve of "one person, one post".

  10. Sachin Pilot, who has long waited for his shot at the Rajasthan top job, met with Sonia Gandhi this evening.

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