New Delhi, November 14: Amid reports of a widening rift, both senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot and party's president in Rajasthan Sachin Pilot announced to contest the state assembly elections. "Both, I and Sachin Pilot will fight the Rajasthan assembly elections," Ashok Gehlot, a former chief minister, told reporters at a joint press conference today.
Addressing the media, Sachin Pilot said he is contesting on directions of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Gehlot. "On Congress president Rahul Gandhi's instruction and on Gehlotji's request, I have decided to contest the assembly elections," Pilot said. Pilot will be contesting the assembly polls for the first time, while Gehlot has been the chief minister twice. Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2018: 'Every Hindu Should Vote for BJP, Just Like Muslims Do for Congress', Says BJP Leader Dhan Singh Rawat.
When asked about the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress, Gehlot responded: "Since Independence, it has been the tradition of Congress party not to name the CM face in states. We are proudly carrying forward that legacy." Interestingly, both Pilot and Gehlot are seen as leading candidate for the chief ministerial post if Congress returns to power.
Watch video of the joint press conference by Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot:
Congress pulled out Gehlot from Rajasthan and made him general secretary in March this year, apparently to create space for Pilot who is credit with the revival of the party in the state. In a recent opinion poll, Pilot 31.75 per cent respondent chose Sachin Pilot as their favourite chief ministerial candidate, whereas Gehlot was the choice of 15.56 respondents.