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Ashok Gehlot frontrunner for Rajasthan CM

December 09, 2008 18:14 IST

Ashok Gehlot, who led the Congress to victory in the Rajasthan election, has emerged as the frontrunner for the chief minister's post.

The Congress is the single largest party with 96 seats, five short of the 101 needed for a simple majority.

"We have the support of all independent legislators as they know that the people have given a mandate against the Bharatiya Janata Party. And other parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist are also ready to support us as they also want stability in the state," he told reporters.

The BJP has 78, the BSP six and the CPM three in the 200-member House. The Janata Dal-United, the Samajwadi Party and the Lok Tantrik SP have one each and there are 14 independent MLAs, including some Congress rebels.

But there are other aspirants for the chief minister's post. State party president C P Joshi, who lost the Nathdwara constituency by a single vote, is one. He said the party need not necessarily nominate a winning candidate. "When Ashok Gehlot was made the chief minister [last time] he was not an MLA," he said. In 1998, Gehlot became chief minister and later fought a by-election to become an MLA.

"I have lost my poll battle but I have led the party to victory against the BJP. As a captain, I am happy," he said.




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