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Veterans probable choice of Congress for the posts of CM

December 13, 2018 07:26 PM

Congress veterans Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath remained the top choices for posts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh chief ministers after the AICC observers for the two states met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the issue on Thursday.

Although Congress didn’t give any official confirmation on these names, sources maintained that majority sentiment in states was with the two leaders whose names would be announced as leaders at the meetings of Congress Legislature Parties in the respective states.

In MP, it is learnt that Nath was a collective choice of all leaders, including ex-CM Digvijay Singh with Guna MP and another CM hopeful Jyotiraditya Scindia also backing him.

In Rajasthan, the race got quite ugly with reports that several Gujjar supporters of state unit chief Sachin Pilot creates ruckus outside PCC office in Jaipur last night to exert pressure on Gandhi to select Pilot.

Pilot has continued to stake his claim to the CM chair but it is learnt that after meeting Gandhi on Thursday he could back Gehlot eventually.

There was no official word on the final CM choice though but insiders said “Gehlot and Nath are nearly final.”

They said names will be chosen at CLP meetings in Rajasthan and MP later today.

Chhattisgarh CM decision remains pending as AICC observer for the state Mallikarjun Kharge is yet to return to Delhi.

The decision to bank on veterans appears to have been influenced by a final word from ex party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul’s sister, was also part of the deliberations in which top party leaders are said to have taken exception to Pilot lobbying through caste supporters.

Gehlot on the other hand maintained silence on the issue saying he will do what Gandhi asks him to do.

If elected the CLP leader again, Gehlot would become Rajasthan CM for the third time.

The issue of deputy CM posts continues to be on the table and it remains to be seen whether Gandhi opts for Deputy CMs in any of the states where the party has won.

The option, some leaders say, will help Gandhi ease tensions and strike caste balance in leadership roles in states.

Sonia, Priyanka at Rahul's residence 

Meanwhile, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra huddled with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at his home as suspense escalated on who would be named the chief ministers of  Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Sonia Gandhi drove to Rahul Gandhi's Tughlaq Lane residence to discuss the choices for the new chief ministers, party sources said. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was also present at the discussions.

Rahul Gandhi held separate meetings with Gehlot and Pilot, besides meeting Jyotiraditya Scindia, one of the frontrunners for the post of Madhya Pradesh chief minister. 

The three spent around 15 minutes each with the Congress president, and left without talking to the media. - With PTI inputs

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