Responding to queries during a press conference held between the first and second leg of the day’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi said: “What we decided at Udaipur [during chintan shivir] earlier this year, we expect that commitment to be maintained,” Gandhi said.
The comment comes a day after Gehlot — widely seen as the preferred choice of the Gandhis for the top party post — said the presidency is an elected post and the ‘one-man-one-post’ principle is for nominations.
“Where it’s a nomination, there it is two posts. But this is an open poll. Anyone out of the 9,000 PCC members can contest, be it an MP, MLA or CM or minister. If it is a minister, he can be a minister and also Congress chief,” he said, adding that he would present Rajasthan’s 2023 budget.
Party sources said that Gehlot, 71, fears he will be replaced by rival Sachin Pilot, whose rebellion nearly brought down his government in 2020. However, party veteran Digvijaya Singh said that if Gehlot becomes the party chief, he would “have to quit as CM, as per the Udaipur declaration”.
Meanwhile, Gehlot arrived in Kerala on Thursday amid speculation as to who all would be contesting the party’s presidential polls. Pilot had joined Rahul in Kerala on Wednesday itself.
During the press conference on Thursday, Rahul was also asked whether he had any advice for those seeking to be the next Congress chief.
“The post of Congress president is not just an organisational position but an ideological post and a belief system. The party chief should remember that the post represents a set of ideas, a belief system and a vision of India,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)