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Gehlot sworn in as Rajasthan CM

india Updated: Dec 14, 2008 00:05 IST
KS Tomar and Sachin Saini
KS Tomar and Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times
Gehlot sworn in as Rajasthan Chief Minister

Ashok Gehlot was sworn in as Chief Minister of Rajasthan on Saturday. He is expected to leave for Delhi on Sunday to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi for discussions on the composition of his new cabinet and to finalise the names of two deputy chief ministers.

Gehlot, who was sworn in by Governor SK Singh at Raj Bhavan here, took the oath of secrecy and office in Hindi, which barely lasted for two minutes.

In his brief interaction with the media, he made several announcements, including a review of the excise policy, eradication of corruption and a higher medical entitlement for the families below poverty line.

On the new cabinet, he said: “I will discuss the issue with the high command and other senior party leaders in Delhi.”

He said, “The Raje government has left a debt liability of Rs 82,000 crore, which needs to be brought under control.” He made it clear that his government would review illegal land deals.

Asking senior officials to be impartial and responsive to the people, Gehlot said: “Majority of bureaucrats did not behave responsibly during the BJP regime. I will expect the administration to fully implement the party’s election manifesto.”

Raje eyes CLP post

After the defeat of the BJP in Rajasthan, the question now is who will fill the post of Leader of Opposition in the assembly. Former CM Vasundhara Raje is keen to stay on but has many detractors, including senior leaders Gulab Chand Kataria, Ghanshyam Tiwari and Om Mathur. Raje and Mathur met party president Rajnath Singh at L.K. Advani’s residence in the evening. A senior leader said the party had not yet zeroed in on any name and would consult other leaders before taking a formal decision.