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Sonia Gandhi holds Himachal CEC amid Raj crisis

New Delhi : Amid Rajasthan crisis, interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday convened Congress’ Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting to finalise names of candidates for Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls.

Among those present were Ambika Soni, Anand Sharma, Veerappa Moily and K.C Venugopal.The Congress is in a huddle to find a solution on two fronts to resolve the issue of Rajasthan and shortlist the presidential candidate for the party.

Meanwhile, Congress sources said that Ashok Gehlot is being ruled out from the party president’s post and Kumari Selja could be considered for it, while Rahul Gandhi’s choice is said to be Venugopal.However, no final decision has been made yet.

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, who met Sonia Gandhi on Monday, expressed his disinterest in taking over as the party president and wished to continue working for the party in Madhya Pradesh.”I want to remain in MP,” Kamal Nath, a former Chief Minister of the state, told IANS.

The escalating drama in Rajasthan has forced the Congress leadership to think about a plan B for the top party post, for which Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was being seen as a contender.

With Kamal Nath ruling himself out, the party has limited options with Mukul Wasnik and Mallikarjun Kharge, but the time is running out as the election process has started and September 30 is the last day of nomination.

The party was left red-faced as the Congress Legislature Party meeting in Jaipur to decide Gehlot’s successor had to be called off on Sunday after his supporting MLAs came out strongly against Sachin Pilot succeeding him.



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