Sachin Pilot rushes back to Delhi; Sonia Gandhi meets raft of Congress leaders | India News

NEW DELHI: Three Rajasthan Congress members – senior ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi, and RTDC chairman Dharmendra Rathore – have been asked to respond to a show-cause notice in 10 days for Sunday’s boycott of the legislature party meeting in Jaipur.
The action was based on the report submitted by observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken, who have not blamed chief minister Ashok Gehlot directly but mentioned him in several places, it is learned.
Sources said Gehlot is being asked to resile from his rigid position on who should be the next CM (not Sachin Pilot), and leave the issue to the party chief. Interestingly, reports said Gehlot met MLAs and ministers after two days on Tuesday, and told them that while he was not interested in any position, his replacement ought to be chosen from among the 102 MLAs who stayed loyal to the party during the Pilot-led rebellion in mid-2020. Meanwhile, Pilot, who was camping in Jaipur, rushed back to Delhi on Tuesday evening.
The Congress brass stepped up activities to resolve the issue, which was reopened by the Jaipur fracas, well after Gehlot had been announced as the establishment’s candidate. Sonia summoned Antony, who had recently shifted residence to his home state Kerala in what is seen as virtual retirement after a long political innings. She also met MP unit chief Kamal Nath, Kharge, Maken and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal on Monday.
Meanwhile, there was much excitement when information surfaced that AICC treasurer and former Union minister Pawan Bansal had collected two nomination forms, with the buzz being that it was either for him or for a senior functionary. When asked, Bansal denied the report, claiming the forms were for Chandigarh Congress, which would be a proposer for the eventual presidential pick. Bansal is a senior party loyalist, and close to a couple of Congress veterans.
Congress gives QR-coded voting cards for prez polls
Amid uncertainty, Congress pressed ahead with preparations for the party’s presidential elections by distributing QR-coded voting identity cards to party chief Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan singh and Priyanka Gandhi. AICC central election authority chairman Madhusudan mistry, data analytics department chairman Praveen Chakravarty and AICC secretary BP singh visited the three leaders and handed them the cards.

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