Gandhi holds individual meetings with Rajasthan CM hopefuls Gehlot, Pilot

Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday held one-on-one meetings with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, the two chief ministerial aspirants in Rajasthan, before taking a final call on who would head government in the desert state.

Gandhi also held deliberations with the party’s central observer K C Venugopal and party in-charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pande and took inputs from them to ascertain the views of the Congress’ newly elected legislators on the matter, sources said.

The Congress president gave separate hearings to both Pilot and Gehlot, one representing the young face of the party and the other, the old guard.

The individual meetings lasted around 10-15 minutes each and neither Gehlot nor Pilot talked to the media after the meeting.

There has been hectic lobbying for the top post and both leaders have staked their claims for the post of chief minister, sources said.

Pilot’s supporters raised slogans outside Gandhi’s office. They vociferously voiced their demand on Wednesday evening too when state legislators were meeting in the Rajasthan capital.

Gandhi sought the views of party workers through an internal messaging system with a pre-recorded message asking them to send their views directly to him through the application.

A decision on the post of chief minister will be taken by this evening to enable the oath-taking soon. The Congress has already staked its claim for government formation in Rajasthan, even though it fell slightly short of the simple majority mark.

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