High-voltage drama continues in Rajasthan with over 90 Congress MLAs loyal to Ashok Gehlot submitting resignation letters to the Speaker ahead of a legislative party meeting, which is likely to appoint Sachin Pilot as his successor.
The Congress observers-Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken-are trying to persuade the CM's loyalists to meet them one by one in a bid to defuse the political crisis.
While speaking to ANI, AICC observer Ajay Maken said, "Mallikarjun Kharge and I came here as AICC observers to hold a meeting in accordance with the CM's convenience at the latter's residence. We were continuously telling the MLAs who didn't come to come and talk one-to-one."
"Congress MLAs Pratap Khachariyawas, S Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi met us, kept three demands. One was to announce the implementation of resolution of handing over the responsibility (to appoint CM) to Congress President after October 19; we said it'll be a conflict of interest."
"If CM Ashok Gehlot becomes Congress chief after October 19, he can empower himself over his own resolution. The second condition was that they wanted to come in groups when we said that we shall talk to everyone individually; we made it clear that this isn't how it works, but they didn't accept," he said.
Ajay Maken continued, "The third condition was that the CM should be from the 102 MLAs who are loyal to CM Ashok Gehlot, not Sachin Pilot or his group. We said that their exact sentiments will be conveyed to Congress chief, who will take the decision after talking to CM Ashok Gehlot and everyone else."
"They (Congress MLAs) insisted that the resolution be in line with three conditions, to which we said that never in the history of Congress has any resolution been passed with strings attached to it and which is conditional. There should be no conflict of interest," he added.