Congress's young but matured leader Sachin Pilot has emerged as the front-runner for the chief ministerial post in Rajasthan, according to sources. On Wednesday, the Congress legislature party (CLP) in Rajasthan passed a single-line resolution authorising party president Rahul Gandhi to decide name of the chief minister.
The Congress emerged as the single largest party in Rajasthan in Tuesday's vote count, winning 99 seats. Its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) won one seat for a total of 100 seats -- the required number to form government. The BJP got 73 seats, and the Bahujan Samaj Party won 6 seats. BSP leader Mayawati on Wednesday pledged support for the Congress. The CPI(M) got two seats, Independents won 13 and other parties got 6, according to the state Election Commission.
When asked about the choice of the chief minister, Congress leader and one of the main faces for the post Sachin Pilot said the party's newly elected MLAs will debate the question, and party president Rahul Gandhi will take a decision after that. AICC general secretary Avinash Pande and party's observer KC Venugopal will seek individual opinion of the party MLAs in the meeting.
"We have full majority and will stake claim to form government in the evening. We will take along all non-BJP parties and elected members who are against BJP and are willing to support us," Pilot told reporters at the Pradesh Congress Committee before the Congress Legislative Party meeting.
"We have passed a resolution authorising Rahul Gandhi to take a final decision on the name of chief minister. We raised our hands and passed the resolution. After that, individual opinion is being sought from the MLAs," Congress lawmaker Parasram Mordia told reporters.
A Congress delegation met Governor Kalyan Singh on Wednesday eveing and staked claim on government in Rajasthan.
The contenders for the chief minister's post are Pradesh Congress Committee president Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, both of whom won huge victories in their constituencies.
MLA Shanti Dhariwal, who was home minister in the Ashok Gehlot government, also said the legislators were giving their opinion about the chief minister candidate in the meeting.
(With PTI inputs)