Rajasthan: Ashok Gehlot takes oath as CM, Pilot as deputy-CM
Congress leader Ashok Gehlot took the oath for Chief Minister of Rajasthan, a short while ago at Albert Hall. He will be the 14th CM of the state, succeeding BJP leader Vasundhara Raje. Sachin Pilot also took the oath as Deputy CM. The ceremony was attended by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Raje. Here's more.
BJP ousted of power in Rajasthan
Riding on Raje's anti-incumbency, Congress returned to power in Rajasthan after sitting in opposition for five years. The results were declared on December 11; Congress+ won 100 seats and BJP 73. The party got support from BSP and other independents which helped it stake claim to form the government in the assembly which has 200 seats. Gehlot's name as CM was announced days later.
Congress won election but CM selection wasn't easy
The selection of the next CM for the state was shrouded in mystery with both Gehlot and Pilot refusing to concede. Supporters of the young gun claimed Pilot drove the party to victory after an abysmal performance in 2013 and strengthened the party's grassroots. But Gehlot, who has been the CM twice, trumped Pilot with his experience and support of rebel Congress MLAs.
Party has given me a lot, Gehlot said
When asked about becoming the CM for the third time, Gehlot said, "I have been saying for the last two years that any post is not my priority. Our leader Rahul Gandhi has said the Congress should work with experienced leader and energy of youth."
Gehlot is confident manifesto's promises will be fulfilled
In an interview, Gehlot said he will fulfill the manifesto's promises. He said the manifesto will be placed before the cabinet which shows the intent. About waving farmer loans in 10 days, Gehlot said, "Rahul ji has said it and it is mentioned in our manifesto. So, there is no question about our commitment." He said they have to see how to implement it.
Political heavyweights attend the oath taking ceremony
At the oath-taking ceremony, several political leaders marked their presence to show the opposition is united. HD Deve Gowda, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, were seen at the event. However, the absence of BSP Chief Mayawati and Samajwadi President Akhilesh Yadav didn't go unnoticed, more so after they lend support to Congress and spoke about a united opposition.