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As Gehlot-for-PM Talk Gathers Steam, Rajasthan CM Calls it BJP Ploy to Divide Congress

After the announcement of Lok Sabha election dates, Rajasthan chief minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said the Election Commission was under pressure from the BJP.


Updated:March 11, 2019, 7:56 PM IST
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As Gehlot-for-PM Talk Gathers Steam, Rajasthan CM Calls it BJP Ploy to Divide Congress
File photo of Ashok Gehlot (Image : PTI)

New Delhi: Speaking at an event in Jalore, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot dispelled talks of him being a Prime Ministerial candidate for the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha election and dismissed the rumour as a BJP strategy to create a divide in the party ranks.

“I am not a PM alternative. This is the BJP’s move to divide the Congress,” Gehlot told reporters in Jalore, adding, “I am in no way a PM candidate.”

Gehlot, who became the Rajasthan chief minister in December 2018 after the grand old party edged out the BJP in the assembly elections, has served as Congress national general secretary.

Despite the popularity of state congress chief Sachin Pilot, Gehlot was sworn in as CM for the third time, with Pilot taking up the role of his deputy.

On Sunday, the Election Commission announced the dates of Lok Sabha elections, thus, triggering the Model Code of Conduct.

The elections will take place in seven phases, starting April 11. Polling will go on till May 19 and counting will be held on May 23.

In Rajasthan, the Lok Sabha polls will take place in two phases on April 29 and May 6. While 13 seats will go to the polls in phase four on April 29, the remaining 12 will vote in the fifth phase on May 6.

After the announcement of election dates, Gehlot said the EC was under pressure from the BJP. “Election dates and all other details have come directly from the PMO,” Gehlot said on Monday.

Gehlot said that if people took stock of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the general elections in 2014, the Congress need not campaign at all for the polls this time around.

“Modi will not become the next Prime Minister,” Gehlot added.

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