Ashok Gehlot will be new CM of Rajasthan again

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 13 2008, 04:23am hrs
Putting an end to the chief ministerial race in Rajasthan, the Congress high command on Thursday chose Ashok Gehlot once again to head the government in the state.

Gehlots announcement as leader of the Congress legislative party was made in Jaipur this evening following a meeting of all the MLAs, who had earlier authorised party president Sonia Gandhi to nominate the new leader. As part of the compromise with powerful lobbies in the Rajasthan Congress, Gehlot is expected to appoint a deputy chief minister from the politically significant Jat community.

The 57 year old former chief minister, had spearheaded the Congress campaign to oust the Vasundhara Raje government in the state. The chief minister-elect told reporters later that he would work to provide an able, transparent and competent government that will cater to all the sections, castes and communities of people.

The chief ministerial race earlier in the day had turned ugly when supporters of Gehlot and Union minister Sis Ram Ola clashed ahead of the CLP meeting. Slogan-shouting supporters of the two sides, who had gathered in large numbers outside the hotel where the AICC observers were staying, came to blows before police could separate them and bring the situation under control.

Supporters of PCC President P C Joshi, who lost by one vote in Nathdwara constituency, Chairperson of National Commission for Women Girja Vyas and former Speaker Paras Ram Maderna, also raised slogans in support of their leaders.