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CM face or not, Cong will win Rajasthan assembly polls: Ex-minister Dhariwal

The Congress will win a thumping majority in the assembly polls due in Rajasthan by the year-end, irrespective of whether the party declares a chief ministerial candidate or not, former state home minister Shanti Dhariwal said on Sunday

jaipur Updated: Apr 15, 2018 21:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,Congress,Assembly polls
Shanti Dhariwal , a two-time cabinet minister in the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan, said the party high command has a policy of not declaring a CM candidate ahead of assembly polls.(HT Photo)

The Congress will win a thumping majority in the assembly polls due in Rajasthan by the year-end, irrespective of whether the party declares a chief ministerial candidate or not, former state home minister Shanti Dhariwal said here on Sunday.

“The present BJP government has failed to deliver on its promises, and curtailed the public welfare schemes of the former Congress government. There is a strong undercurrent of discontent among the people, which will turn into a storm when the assembly polls will be held,” said Dhariwal, a 74-year-old Congress leader who was a two-time cabinet minister when Ashok Gehlot was the CM.

With the assembly polls slated to be held in December, there are talks, albeit muted, among Congressmen about a CM candidate, though the party has said it has been its “tradition” not to project a leader for the top job.

Congress general secretary and state in-charge Avinash Pande had said that the party would not declare its CM face ahead of the assembly polls. He said the party’s Rajasthan leaders would put up a united performance to ensure victory as they did during the recently held bypolls.

Dhariwal said, “The Congress high command has a policy of not declaring a CM candidate ahead of assembly polls. Irrespective of a CM candidate, the Congress will certainly form a government in the state with an overwhelming majority,” said Dhariwal, a Congress stalwart from the Hadauti region. He, however added, “Public opinion is that the Congress will win more seats if the CM face is popular.”

Dhariwal is believed to be closer to Gehlot in whose cabinet he held key portfolios, such as home and urban development and housing.

After Congress president Rahul Gandhi appointed Gehlot as the general secretary in charge of organisation and training, the former CM cautioned young party colleagues to stay in the queue and not try to jump it. The remarks of Gehlot, 66, came at a time when he is locked in an internal tussle with party state chief Sachin Pilot, 40, over the leadership issue ahead of the assembly elections.

First Published: Apr 15, 2018 21:10 IST