Kamal Nath to be mediator in Rajasthan crisis; says not interested in Cong prez post

Kamal Nath.

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Monday ruled himself out as a probable candidate for the party's presidency even as he stepped in to troubleshoot the ongoing crisis in the party's Rajasthan unit.

Kamal Nath, known to have close ties with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence after she held a more than an hour-long meeting with party observers for the state Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken.

The Congress high command had called Kamal Nath to Delhi. He is likely to play the role of a mediator and try to broker a truce in the state unit, which is reeling under a factional feud after a possible leadership change move turned into a full-blown crisis for the party.

Asked if he was not interested in the post of Congress president, Kamal Nath told reporters, "I have no interest, I have come to Delhi for Navratri."

Earlier, Kharge and Maken briefed Gandhi regarding the developments in Rajasthan and will submit a written report about the crisis in the party's state unit by tonight or tomorrow. They had met the party MLAs in the state to get a sense of the ground situation.

According to Maken, MLAs loyal to Gehlot have put forth demands, including that a decision on the chief ministerial face should be taken after the party president election on October 19 and in consultation with Gehlot.

Talking to reporters, AICC in-charge for Rajasthan Maken said the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting was organised with the consent of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and termed the act of the MLAs loyal to him holding a parallel meeting as "indiscipline".

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