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Pilot Appeals to Protesting Supporters to Maintain Peace as Race for Top Job in Rajasthan Heats Up

File photo of Rajasthan Congress chief and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot. (PTI)

File photo of Rajasthan Congress chief and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot. (PTI)

Amid delay in the announcement, Pilot said he had full faith in the Congress leadership and would 'welcome whatever decision party chief Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi will take'.

New Delhi: Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot on Thursday asked party workers to maintain calm amid protests by his supporters who are demanding his appointment as chief minister.

Amid delay in the announcement, Pilot said he had full faith in the Congress leadership and would “welcome whatever decision party chief Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi will take”. He added, “We all have a responsibility to maintain dignity of the party.”

Pilot and veteran Congress leader Ashok Gehlot are locked in a tug-of-war for the top post, where the party has got the mandate to form the new government. In the battle for the state, the Congress emerged as the single-largest party, winning 99 seats. Its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) won one seat for a total of 100 seats — the required number to form government.

Pilot himself had fielded the question of leadership several times ahead of the polls, swatting away allegations of tension within the party over the CM candidate. “It is a party policy. We never announce the CM candidate ahead of polls. After elections, senior leaders and MLAs will sit and decide the CM candidate,” he had said.

However, the grand old party now seems to be struggling to pick its man for the top job, stuck between the popular young leader on one hand and seasoned warhorse Gehlot on the other. One option before the Congress is to create a post of deputy chief minister, which would provide it an easy way out of the quagmire.