Congress Wins Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot May Be The Choice For Top Post

Three-time chief minister Ashok Gehlot drove to his younger colleague and state Congress chief Sachin Pilot's home. Then the two posed for photos, their fingers splayed in a victory sign.

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According to sources Ashok Gehlot has emerged front-runner.


Jaipur/New Delhi: 

The Congress' victory celebrations in Rajasthan on Tuesday were all about careful optics as its two top leaders in the state, a generation apart, displayed complete harmony and togetherness despite speculation of a tussle over who will be chief minister.

Three-time chief minister Ashok Gehlot drove to his younger colleague and state Congress chief Sachin Pilot's home. Then the two posed for photos, their fingers splayed in a victory sign.

Then there were images of Ashok Gehlot sipping tea with Sachin Pilot, at the same meeting.

The celebrations that started in the morning dimmed in a few hours of counting as it was clear that the Congress' victory was not quite the sweep that it expected.

Assembly Elections 2018 Live Results : Rajasthan

The Congress ended with 99 seats, one short of majority, making the win against the BJP not as emphatic as the party would have wished.

That meant less room for compromise in the simmering power struggle.

Sources say Ashok Gehlot has emerged front-runner, not least because of the upcoming national election and the party's slim margin in Rajasthan, which means Sachin Pilot - despite being a favourite of the leadership and leading the party for five years in the state - has to step aside.

Ashok Gehlot is known for his deft political management and ability to keep the flock together.

The son of a magician, Mr Gehlot has "tricks up his sleeve", as his colleagues often joke.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to take the final call on Wednesday.

"Congress legislature party meeting will be held at 11 am on Wednesday in which the elected MLAs of the party will pass a resolution. The observer will seek individual opinion of the MLAs," Congress leader Avinash Pande said in Jaipur.



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