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'Apologetic' for Rajasthan turmoil, Gehlot bows out of Cong prez race

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New Delhi, Sep 29: After much drama, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has backed out of the Congress Presidential race and apologised to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi for the unexpected political crisis in Rajasthan Congress.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot backs out of Congress prez race

The Rajasthan CM took the surprising decision after his meeting with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday. "I had a conversation with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. Whatever happened two days ago shocked us. It gave a message that all of it happened as I wanted to be CM. I apologised to her," ANI quoted Gehlot in a tweet.

Gehlot said that he decided to contest the poll after Rahul Gandhi told him that he would run for the Congress presidential election. "When he didn't accept, I said I'll contest but now with that incident, I've decided not to contest the elections," he added.

Accepting "moral responsibility", Ashok Gehlot decided to opt out of the race. On being asked if he will remain Rajasthan CM, Gehlot said, "I won't decide that, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will decide that."

It all started after Ashok Gehlot decided to throw his hat into the ring to contest Congress presidential poll.

Gehlot was pushed by the central leadership to contest the party's presidential poll, but he wanted to retain his existing post and be the party president if elected. However, Rahul Gandhi was against it and batted for the "one-man, one-post" concept in line with the Chintan Shivir reforms earlier this year.

The story took a surprising turn after 90 odd MLAs refused to attend CLP meeting on Sunday evening where the name of the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan was to be decided.

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Ashok Gehlot

The rebel MLAs met the Speaker and submitted their resignation despite central observer Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken requesting them to come for one-on-one discussion to sort out the differences. This development irked the Congress Working Committee members as well as the Gandhis as it caused the party a huge embarrassment when it started its ambitious 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' to unite people.

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