rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Rahul chooses Gehlot as Rajasthan CM, Pilot to be his deputy

Rahul chooses Gehlot as Rajasthan CM, Pilot to be his deputy

Last updated on: December 14, 2018 22:47 IST

Gehlot and Pilot will be sworn in on December 17.

IMAGE: Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot and senior party leader Ashok Gehlot at a press conference at All India Congress Committee headquarters in New Delhi,. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

The Congress on Friday named Ashok Gehlot Rajasthan's next chief minister and Sachin Pilot his deputy after party president Rahul Gandhi brokered peace between the veteran leader and his younger colleague over several rounds of discussions lasting more than two days.

Congress observer to the state K C Venugopal made the announcement at a media briefing here, ending the suspense over who would be appointed chief minister of the state -- experienced hand Gehlot, who will be chief minister for a third stint, or the Pradesh Congress Committee chief who is credited for being instrumental in the party's turnaround in the desert state.

IMAGE: Supporters of Ashok Gehlot burst fire-crackers and celebrate after he was named as Rajasthan's next chief minister. Photograph: PTI Photo

Gehlot and Pilot will be sworn in on Monday, December 17.

Gandhi and other Congress leaders are expected to attend the ceremony in Jaipur.

Addressing the press conference, Gehlot, 67, thanked Gandhi for giving him the opportunity to serve the people of the state for a third time and promised that he and Pilot will give "good governance".

 

Pilot, 41, exuded confidence that Congress' good electoral performance will continue, saying the party will get a big mandate in 2019 polls and form government at the Centre also.

"Mera aur Ashok Gehlot ji ka jaadu puri tarah chal gaya hai (Gehlot and I worked our magic in the state)," Pilot said.

The Congress went from 21 seats against the BJP's 163 in 2013 to getting 99 seats (plus one of the Rashtriya Lok Dal) in the assembly elections, the votes for which were counted on Tuesday.

Pilot said the party's manifesto will be implemented immediately.

He put up stiff resistance and had staked his own claim for the top post, it is learnt.

IMAGE: Gehlot's supporters celebrate in Jaipur. Photograph: PTI Photo

Referring to Gehlot's 'kaun banega crorepati' quip to a question on who will be CM at a press conference last month, Pilot jokingly said, "Who would have known that instead of one there will be two 'crorepatis'."

Gehlot and Pilot later left New Delhi for a meeting with Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh in Jaipur, where a party delegation presented him a list of the newly elected Congress legislators and supporting MLAs.

The Congress Legislature Party also held a meeting in Jaipur.

Only the chief minister and the deputy chief minister will be sworn in on Monday. The other members of the ministry will be announced later, Gehlot told reporters.

The venue of the ceremony was not immediately announced.

IMAGE: Congress party workers celebrate in Ajmer. Photograph: PTI Photo

Gandhi has met Gehlot and Pilot thrice since Thursday itself. Hectic discussions were held between top party leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on the selection of chief ministers for Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Senior party leaders Venugopal, Avinash Pande and Jitendra Singh were also present during the meeting Friday.

According to Congress leaders, leaders should not challenge the high command and accept the decision once MLAs in the state have authorised Gandhi to take a call.

Pilot was apparently not on board on Gehlot's name, which delayed the announcement.

Eventually, Gandhi successfully brokered peace with the CM-deputy CM compromise formula.

"The united colours of Rajasthan," Gandhi tweeted Friday afternoon along with a photograph in which the three leaders were seen in a jovial mood.

© Copyright 2019 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.