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Cong fields Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan, adds to CM suspense

Rajasthan assembly polls: Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot are strong contenders for the chief minister’s post in the state where the Congress is fancying its chances of riding on the anti-incumbency factor against the ruling BJP.

rajasthan elections Updated: Nov 14, 2018 20:18 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sachin pilot,Ashok Gehlot,Rajasthan Election 2018
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot with Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot will both contest the December 7 Rajasthan assembly polls..(HT file photo)

Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and state Congress president Sachin Pilot will contest the December 7 assembly elections in Rajasthan. This was announced by Gehlot on Wednesday at a news conference at the Congress headquarters in Delhi.

The surprise move has added to the suspense about the Congress party’s presumptive chief minister given that both Gehlot and Pilot are strong contenders for the top post in Rajasthan.

The Congress is banking on the anti-incumbency against chief minister Vasundhara Raje to wrest power from the BJP this time.

While chief minister Vasundhara Raje will lead the BJP in the upcoming polls, the Congress is unlikely to name its chief ministerial face in view of the apprehensions that the move could backfire given that both Gehlot and Pilot are claimants to the post.

“With the instructions of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and on Gehlotji request, I have decided to contest the assembly elections,” Pilot told reporters. “We all will together ensure a massive victory for the Congress in the upcoming polls,” he said.

While 67-year-old Gehlot, a two-time chief minister of Rajasthan, is expected to seek re-nomination from Sardarpura seat in Jodhpur, a decision on Pilot’s constituency will be taken soon.

“The reports of infighting in the Rajasthan Congress are baseless and spread by the BJP. We are unitedly fighting the assembly elections,” Gehlot said.

Also at the news conference, BJP parliamentarian from Dausa Harish Meena joined the Congress in the presence of Gehlot and Pilot.

First Published: Nov 14, 2018 12:41 IST