National

Rahul Gandhi holds marathon discussions

(Clockwise from top) Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot and Jyotiraditya Scindia leaving after a meeting with party President Rahul Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

(Clockwise from top) Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot and Jyotiraditya Scindia leaving after a meeting with party President Rahul Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday, December 13, 2018.   | Photo Credit: AP

Rival groups stage stir in Rajasthan

The choice of chief minister in Rajasthan is proving to be tough for the Congress party as supporters of Rajasthan unit chief Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot were locked in an intense battle. As emotions spilled over into the streets, both leaders appealed for calm on social media.

The appeals followed several incidents of violence by workers of the rival camps in parts of Rajasthan, demanding nomination of their leader as chief minister.

Opting for experience?

While Mr. Pilot is credited with reviving the party after its rout in 2013 Assembly polls and decimation in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014. The Hindu has learnt that senior Congress leaders leaned on former party chief Sonia Gandhi to back Mr. Gehlot as they considered him better placed to run a coalition government, given the party’s wafer thin lead in the 200-member Assembly.

With the Congress’ internal divide of old guard versus young turks playing out, Mr. Gandhi was forced to convene a second, late night meeting of the top contenders.

Earlier in the day, the Congress chief had ascertained the views of Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot in separate meetings.

Through the day, the Congress chief was locked in a series of meetings not only to iron out differences over the leadership question but also install Congress governments in all the three States by Sunday before an astrologically ‘inauspicious period’ starts on December 16.

"We are taking inputs from different people in the party. We are taking inputs from the MLAs, from the workers. So we are getting a comprehensive answer to what the Congress party want in States,” Mr. Gandhi had told reporters outside Parliament in the morning.

As consensus remained elusive, Mr. Gandhi consulted his mother and UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, in the afternoon.

His sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, also visited his residence but it was not clear if the visit was personal or political.

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Printable version | Mar 26, 2020 9:15:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rahul-holds-marathon-discussions/article25736271.ece

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