Shirdi (Maha), Sep 23 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who has announced he will fight the next month’s Congress presidential polls, on Friday said the debate on ‘one-man, one-post’ in the party was unnecessary and expressed commitment to serve the people of his home state all his life.
Talking to reporters in temple town of Shirdi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, the senior Congress leader said his statements on wanting to serve the people of Rajasthan were being interpreted in different ways.
Speaking on the party’s ‘one-man, one-post’ principle, Gehlot said there was a buzz in the media that he did not want to relinquish the post of Rajasthan CM despite announcing his bid for the top organizational position.
“This debate is unnecessary. I have remained silent. If the media is to be believed, I do not want to relinquish the post of chief minister,” Gehlot said after visiting the famous Saibaba Temple here.
The veteran Congressman said he would like to serve his home state of Rajasthan all his life.
“But I have said this for sure, I say this even today and will maintain this even after I fill the (nomination) form (for Congress president polls), I belong to Rajasthan and I would like to serve the state all my life. What is wrong in saying this? People take a different meaning out of this. Media interprets it,” he said.
Gehlot said in the last 40 years, the party has made him a Union minister and chief minister three times and added he will do whatever Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the high command direct him to do.
“…there is no post that is important to me. If possible then I will not occupy any post and tag along Rahul Gandhiji for his yatra,” he said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had, on Thursday, batted for the ‘one-man, one-post’ concept in line with reforms initiated at the Chintan Shivir in Udaipur and also indicated he may not run for the party president’s post.
Earlier in the day, while speaking to reporters at Kochi in Kerala, Gehlot made it clear he will fight for the party’s president post, and added any call on his successor in Rajasthan will be taken by Sonia Gandhi and the state in-charge Ajay Maken.
Speculation is rife that Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor is also likely to jump into the fray for the party president’s post.
The Congress had on Thursday issued a notification for the party president post. As per the party’ poll schedule, nominations can be filed from September 24 to 30.
The date of scrutiny of nomination papers is October 1, while the last date of their withdrawal is October 8.
The election, if there is more than one candidate in the fray, will take place on October 17. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and result will be announced the same day.
Talking about the Bharat Jodo Yatra of Rahul Gandhi, Gehlot said the main objective behind launching the mass contact programme is to create awareness about rising unemployment, inflation and other issues of public interest.
Taking an aim at the BJP-led government at the Centre, the Congress leader said democracy is in danger, the Constitution is under attack and probe agencies are being misused against opposition politicians.
“There is pressure on the judiciary, the Enforcement Directorate, and the Central Bureau of Investigation,” he said. PTI COR PR BNM NP RSY RSY
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