Two ministers in the Rajasthan cabinet have come out in support of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and spoken against state chief minister Ashok Gehlot while another had reportedly resigned in wake of the Congress’ poor performance in the state in the Lok Sabha elections.
Speculation was rife on Sunday about senior Congress leader Lalchand Kataria quitting as the Agriculture Minister of Rajasthan with his purported resignation letter doing the rounds on social media, even though the Chief Minister’s Office did not confirm the development, PTI reported.
Meanwhile, Indian Express reported state ministers Udaylal Anjana and Ramesh Chand Meena have called for introspection after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi reportedly accused three senior leaders of placing their respective sons above the party.
At the Congress Working Committee meeting on Saturday, Gandhi, ticked off three senior party leaders ― former union minister P Chidambaram, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot ― saying they placed their sons before party interests, PTI reported, quoting party sources.
Taunting Gehlot, Gandhi reportedly said the Rajasthan CM spent seven days campaigning for his son in Jodhpur neglecting the rest of the state. Vaibhav Gehlot lost to BJP’s Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by over 2.7 lakh votes.
The Congress lost all 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the general elections. The BJP won 24 and its ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party one seat in the Congress-ruled state.
Ramesh Chand Meena, the state’s food and civil supplies and consumer affairs minister, told Express, “What the Congress president has said in absolutely right. There should be an introspection on what Rahul ji has said. There should deliberation and analysis. The party should introspect on the reasons for such a massive defeat. It should not be taken lightly. What he said should not go in vain, so that the party does not suffer such a severe defeat in the future.”
Cooperative minister Udaylal Anjana told the daily, “I am not that big to demand his (Gehlot’s) resignation, but he should introspect…every one should.”
Meanwhile, in a purported press release, agriculture minister Kataria said he had resigned and was forwarding his resignation to Governor Kalyan Singh through the CM.
When contacted, the Chief Minister’s Office told PTI, “We refuse to confirm the resignation.”
(With PTI inputs)