Either Gehlot or Pilot: Congress dodges question on Rajasthan CM candidate again
The Congress party has once again dodged the question on its chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly elections.
When asked about who would take the coveted position in the state, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "If Congress comes to power in Rajasthan, either [Ashok] Gehlot or [Sachin] Pilot will be the next chief minister."
Apart from Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Sachin Pilot and Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot, names of other senior leaders like CP Joshi and Rameshwar Dudi were also being considered for the chief minister's post. Singhvi's statement seems to have ruled out names other than that of Gehlot and Pilot.
The statement, however, has not quashed the speculation about the widening rift in the party. It is said that there exist two camps in the state Congress -- one headed by Gehlot and the other by Pilot. Several political experts believe that one reason behind not naming the chief ministerial candidate could be to avoid infighting in the party in the run up to the assembly elections.
When questioned about this, Singhvi said, "Look, you are well aware that we have won elections before. We have ruled states before; we have ruled the Centre before. We are going to do it again in Rajasthan. In 95 per cent cases, we do not announce chief ministerial aspirants and candidates. Yes, there is a small series of exceptions which are state specific."
Pilot also had earlier refuted claims about infighting, citing they were rumours planted by the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp.
The Congress is likely to announce its first list of candidates for Rajasthan Assembly polls on Monday.
Rajasthan goes to polls on December 7. The results will be announced on December 11.