Gehlot Pilot

Gehlot Scotches Speculations Of Fresh Rift With Pilot

Gehlot Pilot

Playing down rumours of a fresh tussle with fellow Congress leader Sachin Pilot over the distribution of tickets for the ensuing Assembly elections, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said all party leaders were united ahead of the crucial electoral battle.

With the Congress delaying the publication of its list of candidates for the November 25 Assembly polls, rumours of a fresh flare-up between CM Gehlot and his former deputy have been gaining ground.

However, playing down speculations of a rift, which could potentially hurt the ruling Congress in the ensuing polls, Gehlot said at a press conference in the national capital, “We are all united. I have not opposed any (prospective) candidate (from Pilot’s coterie).”

Expressing his desire to step down as chief minister before he rues or regrets his inability to do so, Gehlot said, “A woman once told me that, god willing, I should become the CM for the fourth time. I told her that I wish to step away as CM but the post is stuck with me.”

Taking a dig at the BJP, which is bidding to return to the hustings in the state, the Rajasthan CM said the saffron party is envious of the party’s smooth decision-making.

“The BJP can’t take it that there are no differences in the Congress with regard to the selection of candidates. They are wondering why no differences are cropping up in the Congress? I am sure you are asking about Sachin Pilot. All decisions are being made by everyone’s opinion on board. I am personally involved in the decision-making to ensure that the views and opinions of Sachin Pilot’s supporters are considered and incorporated,” he said.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the Congress’s Central Election Committee (CEC) held a meeting to finalise candidates for the November 25 Assembly elections and those for the remaining seats in neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

The meeting was chaired by Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge at AICC headquarters in the national capital.

CM Gehlot, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and other members of the party’s election panel and the screening committees of poll-bound states were also present in the meeting.

The counting of votes for the 200-seat Rajasthan Assembly, along with those for four other poll-bound states, has been scheduled for December 3.

Congress emerged as the largest single party in the 2018 Assembly polls, with 101 seats, and formed the government with the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

While the BJP has already put out its first list for the Rajasthan polls, which features as many as 7 sitting MPs, the Congress is yet to come out with its list of candidates. (ANI)

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