It's Kamal Nath for Madhya Pradesh; Rahul Gandhi to decide on Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh today
Though Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot met Rahul Gandhi yesterday, the Congress decided to defer the Rajasthan decision after party chief Rahul Gandhi decided to hold further discussions with leaders.
NEW DELHI: Three days after the party won the mandate to rule three states in the Hindi heartland, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday appeared to have hammered out a consensus on naming Kamal Nath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Suspense, however, continues to remain on the choice for Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh with decisions expected to be made Friday.
In Rajasthan, veteran Ashok Gehlot and party’s state unit chief Sachin Pilot are both vying for the post of CM with their supporters. Media reports stated that the Congress decided to defer the Rajasthan decision after Rahul Gandhi decided to hold further discussions with leaders. Pilot and Gehlot had met Gandhi for the second time late on Thursday night.
There were hectic parleys with party managers, strategists and senior leaders, including mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Vadra on Thursday night. Rahul held one-on-one discussions with the main contenders - Kamal Nath and Scindia for Madhya Pradesh and Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot for Rajasthan. He also consulted the AICC observer for Madhya Pradesh A K Antony.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 13, 2018
- Leo Tolstoy pic.twitter.com/MiRq2IlrIg
READ HERE | Kamal Nath: The Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist
The difficult part, said sources, was Rajasthan where the Congress struggled to convince Pilot to give up his rightful claim in favour of Gehlot. Gehlot, who played a crucial role in the party’s victory, had planned to return to Jaipur but was asked by Rahul to stay back on the suggestion of AICC observer for Rajasthan K C Venugopal, which indicated the tide had turned in his favour.
Rahul then focused on Chhattisgarh and spent time with AICC observer for the state Mallikarjun Kharge. A decision between former Congress Legislative Party leader T S Singh Deo and state unit chief Bhupesh Baghel was likely on Friday, sources said.
It was not about who had what kind of support. In Chhattisgarh, as many as 52 of the 68 Congress MLAs supported T S Singh Deo, who was the leader of the Opposition. Also, he is among the richest lawmakers in India. Yet, the bigger question for Rahul was getting the balance of caste arithmetic right so the advantage was not lost before the 2019 polls.
Orchestrated or otherwise, the fight for the top post between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan was clumsy. It showed up in the antics of their supporters. Pilot was actually embarrassed when his loyalists raised slogans during his meeting with Rahul Gandhi. As for Gehlot’s men, they jumped the gun and claimed he would be the new CM.
मीडिया के साथियो से आग्रह है कि कृपया अफवाहों को न प्रदर्शित करें और केवल प्रमाणित खबरों को ही चलाएं। इस समय अफवाहों को रोकने में आप हमारे साथी बने। आलाकमान द्वारा दिए गए फैसले का हम स्वागत करेंगे— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) December 13, 2018
Rahul chills out
Amid hectic parleys over the selection of chief ministers, TV channels showed Congress president Rahul Gandhi visiting Khan Market and posing for selfies with people there. Dressed in blue jeans, red T-shirt and his trademark sleeveless jacket, Gandhi was seen smiling and shaking hands.
(With online inputs)