After Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi likely to announce Rajasthan’s CM today
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After Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi likely to announce Rajasthan’s CM today

Rahul Gandhi is expected to take the final decision on chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh on Friday.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2018 10:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Ashok Gehlot,Sachin Pilot,Congress
After a series of meetings with stakeholders and other leaders throughout the day on Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will choose the party’s chief minister for Rajasthan on Friday.(PTI)

After a series of meetings with stakeholders and other leaders throughout the day on Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will choose the party’s chief minister for Rajasthan on Friday. The race for the top job is between the party’s veteran leader Ashok Gehlot and young face Sachin Pilot.

The decision on Chhattisgarh is also expected on Friday. State leaders TS Singhdeo , Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant will be Delhi for meetings with Gandhi today.

The party picked nine-time MP and former Union minister Kamal Nath, 72, to head the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday.

Gandhi said on Thursday the party would soon decide on the chief minister of Rajasthan. “Consultations with MLAs and party workers are on, you will see a chief minister soon,” said the Congress president, according to ANI, shortly before he headed into meetings with the front-runners for the chief minister’s job in Rajasthan.

Gandhi met party leaders, CM aspirants and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi throughout the day on Thursday. Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was also seen going inside her brother’s residence as consultations over the CM picks in the three states were underway.

He met Gehlot, 67, and Pilot, 41, first in the morning and then again in late-night meetings.

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As party leaders discussed the options in Delhi, supporters got restless in Rajasthan blocking roads and staging protests. They gathered outside the party office and the residences of the two state leaders holding placards, cutouts and shouting slogans. In a late night message, Gehlot and Pilot appealed for calm and urged supporters to maintain discipline.

The Congress went into elections without a chief ministerial candidate but fielded both, experienced two-time chief minister Gehlot and Pilot, who said he had revived the party after its 2013 rout when the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Vasundhara Raje swept the polls.

This is not the first time a party has delayed announcing the names for the top job in a state. The BJP took nine days after the results of the Maharashtra elections were announced in October 2014 to pick Devendra Fadnavis as its chief minister. And in March 2017, it took the BJP eight days after the Uttar Pradesh election results to name Yogi Adityanath for the job.

First Published: Dec 14, 2018 10:05 IST