Congress president poll: Digvijaya Singh may enter the fray, to reach Delhi tonight

India News

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh may contest the October 17 election for the party president’s post, sources said. He is expected to reach Delhi tonight, sources added.

Singh’s probable entry in the race comes at a time when the Congress leadership more or less not keen on Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot contesting the party presidential election after the events that unfolded in Jaipur on Sunday.

With just two days left for the nomination process to close, the leadership is trying to navigate the situation despite professing neutrality in the event of a contest. Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor has declared he will contest for the top post and will file his nomination papers on September 30, the day nominations close.

Meanwhile, Gehlot will meet the Congress high command in New Delhi on Wednesday amid suspense over whether he will file nomination for the post of party president. The Chief Minister is expected to board a special flight for New Delhi. Ahead of his visit, some ministers and MLAs turned up Gehlot’s house to meet him.

“The Chief Minister is going to Delhi at 5-5.30 pm today to express the feelings of 102 MLAs, as their guardian, with the party leadership and organisation,” cabinet minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas told reporters after a meeting with the CM.

With the developments in Jaipur on Sunday denting Gehlot’s bid for the Congress presidency, the names of several leaders such as Mallikarjun Kharge, Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik, and Sushil Kumar Shinde are doing the rounds as probable candidates. The Congress leadership has also summoned Sachin Pilot to Delhi to discuss the developments in Rajasthan.

On Sunday afternoon, as the Congress high command’s inclination to hand over the chief ministership in Rajasthan to Pilot became apparent, Gehlot loyalist MLAs went into a huddle to register their opposition. The MLAs started trickling into the Hospital Road residence of Cabinet Minister Shanti Dhariwal where they agreed on submitting their resignation to Assembly Speaker C P Joshi – signalling their protest against Pilot’s name, instead of going to the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting at the CM’s residence.

Last week, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had sent a clear message to Gehlot: that he cannot hope to remain Rajasthan Chief Minister if he is elected as Congress president.

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