Ashok Gehlot: ‘CM or party president…will follow the wishes of Congress members’
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said he will follow the wishes of Congress members, whether they want him in the role of chief minister or party president. His remarks came a day after he indicated that he would contest for the Congress president’s post if Rahul Gandhi stayed away.
Talking to reporters after reaching New Delhi, Gehlot again requested Rahul to become the Congress President. “If he organizes the Bharat Jodi Yatra as party president, it will create an aura for the party,” Gehlot was quoted as saying by ANI.
He said, ‘The party and high command have given everything to me. I have been in the positions for 40-50 years. No post is important to me, whatever responsibility has been given to me, I will fulfill it.
On Tuesday, Gehlot had held a surprise meeting of party MLAs, during which he said that he is a loyal party man and will follow whatever decision the leadership takes. He also invited the MLAs to come to Delhi in case they file nomination papers. Sources told The Indian Express that Gehlot may file his nomination papers after September 26.
Reacting to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s possible bid for the top post, Gehlot on Wednesday said, “There should be a competition, it is good for internal democracy.” Tharoor had told Sonia Gandhi on Monday that he was considering contesting the polls, while assuring her that she would remain “neutral” in the event of contesting the polls.
Gehlot’s plans have also raised questions about whether he will continue as the chief minister of Rajasthan if he becomes the party president.
“If they (Congress members) ask me to fill the form (nomination), I will not be able to refuse… will talk to friends. I was given the responsibility of being the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, I am fulfilling that responsibility as a CM and will continue to do so,” Gehlot said on Tuesday.
Gehlot is expected to meet Sonia and some senior party functionaries in New Delhi on Wednesday. They are likely to join the India pair visit later in the evening and return to New Delhi on September 23 or 24.
With PTI inputs