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Congress, A Divided House: Ashok Gehlot Supporter Blames Ajay Maken

Amid the ongoing political crisis, urban development and housing minister Shanti Dhariwal on Monday accused senior party leader and state in-charge Ajay Maken of conspiring to remove Ashok Gehlot as the Chief minister of Rajasthan.

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By: Parul Kulshreshta | JAIPUR
Updated: September 26, 2022 21:35
Rajasthan urban development and housing minister Shanti Dhariwal
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Old habits die hard. The old saying holds true for the Grand Old Party as the battle for the chair brought the fissures out into the open in Rajasthan.

Amid the ongoing political crisis, urban development and housing minister Shanti Dhariwal on Monday accused senior party leader and state in-charge Ajay Maken of conspiring to remove Ashok Gehlot as the Chief minister of Rajasthan.

The development came against the backdrop of a section of Congress MLAs, who are supporters of Gehlot, demanding that the next CM should be one of them. They also refused to accept Gehlot’s rival Sachin Pilot, or any one of his supporters, as the next CM of the state.

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“Many more people are also involved in this conspiracy. If the party high command asks for proof from me, I will present the evidence. Maken was also continuously pressurising the MLAs to support Sachin Pilot. I have proof that if the party high command asks for proof, I will present it,” Dhariwal said.

However, Dhariwal made it clear that Mallikarjun Kharge, who also visited Jaipur as a central observer with Maken, is a good and honest man.

Shanti Dhariwal said that in the year 2020, there was a crisis in the Rajasthan Congress government (when Sachin Pilot tried to topple Gehlot). “Those who were involved in the conspiracy to topple the government at that time are being given attention today,” Dhariwal said.

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Regarding the meeting held at his residence on Sunday, Dhariwal said that CM Gehlot was not aware of the meeting.

Dhariwal also hits back at the statement given by state in-charge Maken regarding the indiscipline of MLAs for not attending the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting.

“Why are these people talking about indiscipline today when they don’t speak against those who have betrayed the party and put the government in trouble? The majority of the MLAs are with CM Ashok Gehlot,” he said.

On the question of whether he had received any notice of indiscipline by the party high command, Dhariwal said that he had not received any such notice but if it was sent then he would answer it.

While Gehlot was considered a favourite to win the Congress presidential polls, rumours had it that the latest development had left a question mark about his election.

Reacting to the speculation, Dhariwal said, “I do not know whether Ashok Gehlot will become the national president or not. I can’t say anything about this. On this, the party’s high command has to take a decision.”

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