Jaipur, December 11: Rajasthan delivered a mandate against the BJP, reducing the incumbent ruling party from 163 seats to 73 constituencies. Congress, on the other hand, has been given a tight mandate to form the next government. While the electorate have made their choice clear, the Congress is yet to finalise the decision on who will be the next Chief Minister. The contest is between former CM Ashok Gehlot and party's state unit president Sachin Pilot.
The legislators-elect of the Congress are were convened for a meeting today to decide on the next CM, in presence of top AICC office bearers deputed by the party high command. Some of the MLAs walked out of the meeting, saying they would agree with what Congress president Rahul Gandhi decides. Rajasthan Elections 2018 Winners List: Check Constituency-Wise Names of Elected MLAs.
Who do you want to see as next Rajasthan Chief Minister?
Pilot, while speaking to reporters after Congress' impressive electoral performance, said the party MLAs, in coordination with the central high command, will take the final call on who should be the CM.
"We salute the people of Rajasthan for this historic mandate. Most of the Cabinet Ministers of Vasundhara Raje government have been defeated. This signals that the state has voted with the intention to remove this government," he said.
On being asked on his CM ambitions, the 41-year-old said neither he nor does any other leader in the party works with the agenda of securing a constitutional office. "We uphold the party ideology and adhere to whatever the party decides for us," said Pilot, who had earlier served as Union Minister for Corporate Affairs in the UPA-II government.
The other top contender for the post is Ashok Gehlot, who has served as the Chief Minister in the erstwhile Congress governments in the state between 1998-2003 and 2008-13. The 67-year-old's political mantle was dented when the party recorded its worst electoral performance in 2013 -- being reduced to only 21 legislative constituencies.