A day after senior Congress leader and former Union minister Ajay Maken stepped down as the party’s Rajasthan in-charge, BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena welcomed his decision and saying he would have been stuck between two raging bulls had he remained in the post.
Maken’s move came amid a continuing and bitter tussle between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot.
The tussle came to a head again in the lead-up to the polls to elect the Congress national president, as Gehlot, who was initially seen a frontrunner for the post, pulling out in the face of a rebellion by his loyalist MLAs who wanted him to continue as CM.
Maken had earlier written to octogenarian Dalit leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was recently elected the party’s first non-Gandhi national president in 24 years, expressing his unwillingness to continue in his postas the Congress’ Rajasthan in-charge.
Speaking to ANI after presiding over a function in Dausa, Meena said, “If Maken hadn’t taken this step, he would have been stuck in the fight between two raging bulls.”
The BJP Rajya Sabha MP added that with the next Assembly elections in the state not too far away, the infighting in the party (between Gehlot and Pilot) will only get more intense in the coming days.
“So, Maken has made a very wise decision to steo down from the post of Rajsthan Congress in-charge. I welcome his decision,” the BJP MP added.
In his letter to Kharge on Wednesday, Maken said he did not want to continue in the post after the events of September 25.
On September 25, on the instructions of then Congress national president Sonia Gandhi, Maken and Kharge went to Jaipur as observers. The visit fueled buzz that Gehlot might throw his hat in the ring in the polls to pick the Congress president.
Adding more grist to the Gehlot rumours, a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party in Rajasthan was called, reportedly to pick a new chief minister. However, the Gehlot loyalists in the Rajasthan Assembly struck a dissident tone and objected to making Pilot the next chief minister.
The meeting had to be eventually cancelled as the Gehlot loyalists kept away.
The entire sequence of events left the Congress high-command miffed, with show-cause notices issued to three leaders. However, no action has yet been taken against the dissident leaders.
While Gehlot apologised to Sonia, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal had said a decision on the Rajasthan Congress will be taken in the next two days.
However, no meeting of the Congress Legislature Party has been convened in the state since the September 25 fiasco.
In his letter dated November 8, Maken said a new leader should be given the responsibility before the ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, led by Rahul Gandhi, enters the state. He said a new Rajasthan Congress in-charge should lead the party into the upcoming Assembly bypolls in the state.
“I am a soldier of Rahul Gandhi. My family has decades of association with the party,” he wrote.
According to sources, Maken was miffed with the developments and eventually decided to step down as the Congress’ Rajasthan in-charge.
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.