Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is likely to be appointed as the next Congress president as Rahul Gandhi is adamant on his stand that he does not want to continue as the party chief. However, party sources indicates that he is adamant to continue as Chief Minister also, even after taking party’s responsibility.
Congress sources confirmed that a large number of leaders close to Sonia Gandhi are pushing their hat on him, in order to prevent emergence of any youth face to head the party.
In support of his desire to continue as chief minister also, his associated are referring to the fact that several chief ministers belonging to regional parties are continuing in both party and government offices. The names of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, former Uttar Pradesh CMs Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati and former Tamil Nadu CM late J Jayalalithaa are said to have been cited in this regard.
Gehlot’s proximity with Gandhi family and his command over party organisational structure, as General Secretary in charge of the organisation for several years, said to be coming to his advantage.
However, it may be recalled that Rahul Gandhi had tried his best to prevent him from becoming Chief Minister in December, last year, suggesting young face like Sachin Pilot. It was Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi pressurised him to accept continuation of `old generation’ grip over the party, fearing that they may work against him. While informing his firm decision to quit the party post at the AICC meet, last year, it may be recalled that Rahul particularly referred Gehlot name, making him responsible for party’s debacle in the state, as he was keen in getting elect of his son, more than the party’s prospects.