By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Sep 25 : Ahead of the Congress Legislature Party meeting scheduled for taking decisions on the next Chief Minister, a rift is clearly visible among the Congress MLAs as MLAs from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s faction gathered at the bungalow of Urban Development Minister Shanti Dhariwal.
Around 50 MLAs are present in this meeting and were to go to the CLP meeting together in a luxury bus.
Independent MLA Sanyam Lodha, who reached Dhariwal’s bungalow, said Gehlot, who is set to contest the Congress President’s election, should remain the Chief Minuster. If someone other than Gehlot is made the CM, then independent MLAs will withdraw their support, he said.
Minister Mahendrajit Singh Malviya said that Gehlot should remain the Chief Minister, and should not be replaced.
Minister Govindram Meghwal said: “We want Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to remain, Sanyam Lodha is a seasoned person, whatever he has said, he has said it after thinking.”
Meanwhile, MLAs, supporting former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, met at his house to negotiating their next strategy.
Gehlot, who will file nomination for the post of Congress President, is likely to step down as Chief Minister and the CLP meeting was to decide his successor. Earlier, the meeting was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. but was postponed till 7.30 pm.
State in-charge Ajay Maken and senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge had reached Jaipur to serve as observers in the meeting.
Meanwhile, Gehlot said in Jaisalmer this afternoon that the next Chief Minister should be the leader who can get the government repeated in the state.
He said that it has been a tradition to call a meeting of the legislature party for the selection of the Chief Minister and leave the decision to the high command. “This has been the strength of Congress. I have held many positions, now the new generation should get a chance. Even today you will get to see glimpses of the same faith. You will not need to think much here and there.”
Further, in the CLP meeting, pro-Congress independent MLAs have also been called in for a consultation on the new CM face.