Congress in-charge for Rajasthan Ajay Maken on Monday slammed the MLAs loyal to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for setting conditions for a party resolution, terming it a 'conflict of interest', and said their decision to hold a parallel meeting amounted to indiscipline.
The MLAs loyal to Gehlot had on Sunday night submitted their resignation letters over a possible move to appoint Sachin Pilot as the chief minister and also kept away from the legislature party meeting called by central party observers -- Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge.
"Resolution should not have any conflict of interest. Those who are contesting elections and tomorrow become party president, they get to decide on the resolution and this is a conflict of interest. So, it is wrong," Maken said without naming Gehlot.
On Sunday night, ministers Shanti Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi and Pratap Singh Khachariyawas had met Maken and Kharge at the chief minister's residence to convey the message of the MLAs loyal to Gehlot.
Maken said the delegation put forward three conditions:
1) A decision on the selection of chief minister should be taken after the Congress presidential election;
2) the chief minister should be from among those MLAs who stood with the government during the political crisis in 2020 and not from the Pilot camp, and;
3) the AICC observers should hold meetings in groups instead of one-to-one as sought by the high command.
"We will listen to everyone. No decision is being taken. Whatever you will say will be conveyed to Delhi... We have directions to hold one-to-one meetings with MLAs so that they speak frankly," Maken said.
"So, no one should be worried that their feelings and thoughts are not being conveyed. But, they (delegation of ministers) insisted that their three demands should be part of the resolution,' he said.
Maken said he and Kharge kept waiting for the MLAs on Sunday night but they did not turn up. "So today, we are returning to New Delhi to apprise Sonia Gandhi about the developments," he added.
Reports hinted at an upset party high command on the antics thrown by CM Ashok Gehlot's loyalists. There is strong belief that the entire episode was orchestrated by Gehlot. The chances of Gehlot filing his nomination for President's post also look dim now.
Congress leader Kamal Nath has now been appointed as an observer to mediate between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot camps.
(with inputs from PTI)
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