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Gehlot or Pilot for Rajasthan CM Candidate? Jodhpur Seat in Congress List May Hold Key to Answer

The Congress has repeatedly dodged the question on its chief ministerial candidate in the state.

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Updated:November 12, 2018, 10:20 PM IST
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Gehlot or Pilot for Rajasthan CM Candidate? Jodhpur Seat in Congress List May Hold Key to Answer
File photo of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi with Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot.
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As Congress gives final shape to its first list of candidates from Rajasthan, all eyes are on one seat in Jodhpur district which has elected former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to the state assembly since 1998.

Gehlot's nomination for assembly polls despite emerging as a key political manager for Rahul Gandhi in recent months in Delhi could be a key indicator of post poll possibilities in government formation if Congress were to win majority.

Or will the Congress apply in the Madhya Pradesh formula in Rajasthan by not giving a ticket to CM contenders like Kamal Nath, Digvijay Singh or Jyotiraditya Scindhia?

The two-time chief minister Ashok Gehlot faces a stiff challenge within this time around with state Congress president Sachin Pilot emerging as a challenger for the top job.

But quite unlike Congress leaders in MP who are members of parliament, Gehlot has for the last two decades chosen to remain in state politics and contest assembly polls since 1998.

Though he has contested and won 5 Lok Sabha elections and worked as a minister under three PMs including Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Narsimha Rao.

Sachin Pilot was minister in Manmohan Singh government lost the 2014 LS polls from Ajmer. He, however, did not contest the by-elections for the seat earlier this year won by the Congress with a huge margin.

The Congress has repeatedly dodged the question on its chief ministerial candidate in the state.

On Monday, when asked about who would take the coveted position in the state if Congress wins, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "If Congress comes to power in Rajasthan, either [Ashok] Gehlot or [Sachin] Pilot will be the next chief minister."

The statement, however, did not quash the speculation about the widening rift in the party. It is said that there exist two camps in the state Congress - one headed by Gehlot and the other by Pilot. But the party has dismissed it as rumours planted by the BJP.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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