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Name Rajasthan chief minister candidate after public poll, Congress MLAs urge Rahul Gandhi

Two senior MLAs said there’s confusion among partymen as names of Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot and CP Joshi are doing rounds

jaipur Updated: Oct 13, 2017 19:43 IST
Suresh Foujdar
Suresh Foujdar
Hindustan Times
2018 polls,2018 assembly polls,Congress
Congress leaders urge the party vice-president to name the CM candidate like it was done in Punjab.(HT FILE)

Two senior Congress legislators in Rajasthan have demanded that the party should declare the chief ministerial candidate through a public poll before next year’s election.

“There’s confusion over who will lead the government if the party is voted to power. The party should clear it by naming the CM candidate, and this should be done through a public poll,” Congress senior vice-president Vishvendra Singh said on Friday.

Singh, who is also the party legislator from Deeg-Kumher, said that there’s a political mood in favour of the Congress in the state because of the Vasundhara Raje government’s shortcomings.

Congress legislator from Bari (Dholpur) Girraj Singh Malinga also demanded a survey of the people for the party’s CM candidate. “People elect governments, they should select the CM, too,” he said.

“People are upset because of the unfulfilled promises the BJP made before the 2013 election but our problem is that we don’t have a face to project,” Singh said.

“Sachin Pilot considers himself as the CM candidate. Former CM and senior most party leader Ashok Gehlot naturally has a claim on the chair. The name of CP Joshi, who has been a Union minister, also does the rounds. I request Rahul Gandhi to conduct a public poll for a face like the party did in Punjab,” Singh said.

The Deeg-Kumher legislator said that without projecting a face the party could not win the assembly election because “it is difficult to counter Vasundhara ji (Raje) because she’s the face of the party and of the BJP legislators”.

Singh had made the same demand in May too. Earlier, in 2016, at a Congress meeting, the MLA had asked party men to raise their hands in support of Sachin Pilot for the CM’s post. Pilot and Gehlot were at the meeting.

Malinga was upset over his exclusion from the list of new Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) members announced a few days ago. He said the party neglected him and selected Vijendra Singh Soopa and his brother-in-law Lakhan Singh Kheroda from Badi.

“I am a two-time MLA but have not been selected PCC member. Why did the party seek recommendations from me when it had to decide unilaterally?” he asked.

Singh said he was in charge of Dholpur and Karauli and even he was unaware about Malinga’s exclusion. “It is shameful that a senior leader is neglected in the PCC list,” Singh said.

The two leaders have raised the demand at a time when the party is facing three by-elections in Ajmer, Alwar and Mandalgarh.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 19:42 IST