Who Should Be CM, Rahul Asks 7 Lakh Workers
Veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath looks set to take over as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh after a day-long exercise in Bhopal by party observers capped the process of consultation. In Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot is believed to have the edgeover state unit chief Sachin Pilot for the post of CM.
In MP, Congress defeated BJP in the final tally announced on Wednesday, finishing below the majority mark of 116 by two MLAs but stitching alliances with BSP (3) and SP(1) and enlisting the support of four independents.
Sources said Nath, the MP Congress chief, has been almost finalised as the leader of the legislature party ahead of Jyotiraditya Scindia. A final announcement is likely to be made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday.
Gandhi has sent an audio message to more than 7 lakh workers through the party’s Shakti App, seeking their views on who should be CMs in their states. Respondents were promised confidentiality.
Stiff resistance from Pilot delays call on Rajasthan
Kamal Nath, accompanied by colleaguesformer CM Digvijaya Singh, Scindia and Vivek Tankha — met governor Anandiben Patel and staked claim. After making a clean sweep in three states, Congress carried out its traditional process of consultation in Bhopal, Jaipur and Raipur in the presence of observers sent by the leadership.The MLAs left the decision on CMs on Rahul.
Central observer and AICC general secretary KC Venugopal held one-on-one meetings with all the MLAs after holding a legislature party gathering in Jaipur. Gehlot remains the front runner for the top post with the support of most MLAs. His presence is believed to have provided credibility to the Congress challenge against a battle-hardened opponent like Vasundhara Raje.
However, a decision appears to have been delayed owing to stiff resistance being put up by Pilot. Pilot has led the Rajasthan Congress for five years and is an aspirant for the top job, besides sharing a close equation with Rahul Gandhi. His supporters believe that he led the party in a difficult phase post-2013 and his claim cannot be disregarded.
Led by AICC general secretary incharge Avinash Pande, the Rajasthan Congress met governor Kalyan Singh. “We have given a list of Congress MLAs as well as our ally and independent MLAs who have extended support to the party. We have requested the governor to allow us some time in government formation and informed him that discussions were on to decide the CLP leader,” Pande said.
The trickiest pick remains in Raipur. While Chhattisgarh Congress president, an OBC leader, Bhupesh Baghel is a strong contender for the job, he has to contend with the competition from legislature party leader TS Singh Deo. All eyes are on what the individual MLAs say since Baghel and Singh Deo both got equal number of tickets but Singh Deo financially helped a good number of winning candidates.