With President Quandary, Ashok Gehlot is taking steps to protect his territory: 10 facts

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There is speculation that the meeting could be linked to Ashok Gehlot’s candidacy for the presidency of Congress.

Jaipur:
Ashok Gehlot, a candidate for Congress leader, called his MPs for a late-night meeting at a time when his rival Sachin Pilot is out of town. Amid speculation, a minister stressed that Mr Gehlot would remain as chief minister.

Here are the top 10 points of this great story:

  1. “He (Gehlot) has made it clear that he is not leaving Rajasthan,” Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said, adding that the chief minister and other leaders will decide on his candidacy.

  2. Mr Gehlot, 71, has been the Gandhis’ choice for Congress leadership for a long time, but he would be reluctant to give up his role in Rajasthan. If he does, Sachin Pilot, his bitter rival and former deputy, is most likely to step in.

  3. Mr Gehlot disagrees with that, sources say, and neither do MPs who support him. Sources say the show of force is Mr Gehlot’s way of rallying his MPs and keeping his flock together at a time when big change could be ahead.

  4. Although Mr Gehlot agreed to submit his candidacy on Monday, when Congress opens its election process, he apparently hopes to persuade Rahul Gandhi to return as Congress President.

  5. Sources say Mr Gehlot has told the Congress leadership that he wants to remain Chief Minister for a while even after becoming Congress President.

  6. If he is to move into national politics, sources say, he wants a loyalist to rule as his proxy in Rajasthan. If not, he wants to keep both roles by taking over as sitting president of Congress with Sonia Gandhi as full-time leader.

  7. The Congress will accept nominations until September 30. Elections for the President of Congress, if necessary (if there is more than one candidate), will take place on October 17. The results will be announced on October 19.

  8. Mr Gehlot has kept his post so far and has gone through crises like an alleged attempt by the BJP to overthrow his government and the Sachin Pilot revolt in 2020.

  9. In 2020, Mr Pilot rebelled against Mr Gehlot and moved to Delhi with 18 MPs. A month-long stalemate ended after the Gandhis intervened.

  10. Mr. Gehlot and Mr. Pilot were both in an intense race to become chief minister after Congress won elections in Rajasthan in 2018. Congress chose Mr. Gehlot as chief minister for the third time while Mr. Pilot was named his deputy, a post he lost after his rebellion.

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