New Delhi: As the Congress managed to zero in on Kamal Nath for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister late on Thursday, the focus has now shifted on Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The party emerged as single-largest party in all these states in the recently concluded Assembly Elections 2018.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to hold a fresh round of discussions with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, the two chief ministerial aspirants in Rajasthan, before taking a final call. The decision will be made public at a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in state capital Jaipur, reports said.
Sources said that since Gehlot appeared a favourite following several rounds of discussions the previous day, efforts were on to placate Pradesh Congress Committee president Pilot.
Party’s central observer for Rajasthan KC Venugopal said, “It is up to the Congress president to take a final call and the decision is awaited.” Congress leaders feel once the MLAs in the state have authorised Gandhi to take a decision on the chief minister, leaders should not challenge the high command and accept the decision.
The announcement is getting delayed as Pilot is reportedly not accepting Gehlot as the chief minister, claimed reports. The PCC chief is staking his own claim for the top post. AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pande said, “The Congress president heard everyone and after consultations, he will take the final decision which will be acceptable to all.”
Meanwhile, Gehlot denied that the decision is being delayed. He said, “Decision is not being delayed. BJP is spreading lies. BJP took 7 days in UP and 9 days in Maharashtra to choose a CM.The process takes time, observers go to sates for discussion. Whenever such decision is taken it takes time.”
Rahul is likely to meet Pilot and Gehlot, 67, again at his residence in an attempt to broker peace, like he did in the case of Madhya Pradesh where Kamal Nath was declared as the next chief minister.
The party leadership wants Gehlot and Pilot to be present at the CLP meet. Sources said the party high command was upset over the way party workers had resorted to arson and violence in the state in a bid to pressure the party into naming Pilot.
The incidents of violence were reported in Jaipur, Dausa and other parts on Thursday following which the Congress leadership asked both Pilot and Gehlot to issue appeal for peace.
Likewise, Rahul has called TS Singh Deo, Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant to Delhi to help decide on Chhattisgarh Chief Minister. A scuffle took place outside the residence of state party chief Baghel.