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Gehlot loyalists' meet wasn't for mounting pressure on high-command: Cong chief whip in Rajasthan

Gehlot loyalists' meet wasn't for mounting pressure on high-command: Cong chief whip in Rajasthan

Published:27 September 2022

Amid an ongoing political turmoil in the Congress in Rajasthan, the party's chief whip in the state, Mahesh Joshi, on Tuesday said a meeting of the MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was not called to mount pressure on the party high-command.

Jaipur | Amid an ongoing political turmoil in the Congress in Rajasthan, the party's chief whip in the state, Mahesh Joshi, on Tuesday said a meeting of the MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was not called to mount pressure on the party high-command.

Joshi said this while reacting to All India Congress Committee (AICC) observer Ajay Maken's "indiscipline" remark for holding the meeting.

He said the MLAs have expressed their view so that it reaches the high-command.

Joshi also said if the MLAs were not loyal to the Congress, the government would have fallen much earlier.

"I am saying again and again that speaking your mind is not mounting pressure. We have not created any pressure on the high-command but have tried to express our views. Whatever decision the leadership takes, we will obey it," he told reporters here.

Joshi, who is also a cabinet minister in Rajasthan, said if the party issues notices on the MLAs for indiscipline, they will give their reply to it and prove their loyalty to the Congress.

"If anyone raises doubts on the loyalty of our people, we will prove that loyalty at any cost. We have always been loyal to the high-command. If it was not for our loyalty, the Congress government would have fallen in Rajasthan a long time ago," he said.

Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge, who were sent as observers to Jaipur for a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, briefed party chief Sonia Gandhi on the developments after their return to Delhi on Monday and termed the parallel meet held by the Gehlot loyalists at Rajasthan minister Shanti Dhariwal's residence "indiscipline".

The MLAs later submitted their resignation to Speaker CP Joshi at his residence.

Only three ministers -- Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi and Pratap Singh Khachariyawas -- had met the AICC observers at the chief minister's residence.

"When a CLP meeting is held, holding a parallel meeting of MLAs is prima facie indiscipline," Maken had said on Monday.

Accusing the MLAs in the Gehlot camp of "indiscipline", he had said their demand setting conditions for a resolution authorising the party president to pick the next chief minister gave rise to a "conflict of interest".

Maken said the delegation put forward three conditions -- a decision on the selection of the chief minister should be taken after the Congress presidential poll, the chief minister should be from among the MLAs who stood with the government during the political crisis in the state in 2020 and not from the Sachin Pilot camp, and the AICC observers should hold meetings in groups instead of one on one as sought by the high-command.

Joshi, on the other hand, said the delegation that met the Congress observers had not asked for the conditions to be included in the resolution.

"It was not that we wanted everything in the resolution. Maybe we failed to make them understand or it is also possible that we tried but they did not understand. But we did not talk about any kind of amendment in the resolution," he said.


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