Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot has been appointed as the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan, while his junior party colleague Sachin Pilot has been made the Deputy Chief Minister, announced Congress observer to the state KC Venugopal on Friday, adding that the latter will continue to work as Rajasthan Congress Chief.
KC Venugopal, All India Congress Committee observer for Rajasthan: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has decided to appoint Ashok Gehlot Ji as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot will be the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan pic.twitter.com/TAJ7levt8F— ANI (@ANI) December 14, 2018
Addressing the press conference, Gehlot, 67, thanked Gandhi for giving him the opportunity to serve the people of the state for a third time and promised that he and Pilot will give "good governance".
"I would like to thank Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other legislators for taking this decision to make Ashok Gehlot Ji the Chief Minister of Rajasthan," said Pilot, 41, at the press conference.
"Mera aur Ashok Gehlot ji ka jaadu puri tarah chal gaya hai (Gehlot and I worked our magic in the state)," Pilot said.
The Congress went from 21 seats against the BJP's 163 in 2013 to getting 99 seats (plus one of the Rashtriya Lok Dal) in the assembly elections the votes for which were counted on Tuesday. Pilot said the party's manifesto will be implemented immediately.
He put up stiff resistance and had staked his own claim for the top post, it is learnt. Referring to Gehlot's 'kaun banega crorepati' quip to a question on who will be CM at a press conference last month, Pilot jokingly said, "Who would have known that instead of one there will be two 'crorepatis'."
Venugopal said details of the oath taking ceremony would be decided after meeting Governor Kalyan Singh in Jaipur on Friday evening. Both Gehlot and Pilot would be present at the meeting. "They will arrive in Jaipur from New Delhi and will go to the Raj Bhawan to hand over the list of MLAs," sources in Jaipur added.
Earlier in the day, Congress president Rahul Gandhi signalled an end to the standoff between Gehlot and Pilot for the Rajasthan chief minister’s post after two days of discussions.
Gandhi met the two leaders separately thrice since Thursday and is learnt to have decided the chief ministerial face in the state. But there was no immediate clarity on who would be the chief minister and it is likely to be announced by this evening.
There have been hectic discussions between top party leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on the selection of chief ministers for Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
“The united colours of Rajasthan,” Gandhi tweeted, along with a photograph with Gehlot and Pilot.
The united colours of Rajasthan! pic.twitter.com/D1mjKaaBsa— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 14, 2018
Venugopal, Avinash Pande and Jitendra Singh were also present during the meeting on Friday.