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Rajasthan: Gehlot to be CM
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jaipur, December 11
Ashok Gehlot has been chosen as the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan after newly elected MLAs of the Congress voted in his favour in a secret polling held at party headquarters today.

The party would have two deputy Chief Ministers. They are Hansa Ram and Parsa Ram Maderna. The move seems to have been made to appease them so that dissension within the party could be avoided.

More than 80 MLAs reportedly polled in his favour but staunch opposition by other chief ministerial aspirants delayed the announcement. Later, central observers of the party Mukul Vasnik and Digvijayu Singh held a closed door meeting with the three leaders.

Gehlot gets second term as the Chief Minister. He had won elections for the third consecutive time from Sardarpura constituency in Jodhpur.

Earlier, Congress legilature party (CLP) meeting had failed to choose the Chief Minister despite over three hours of deliberations. The party even issued a press release stating the CLP has unanimously resolved the decision and it should be left to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to decide the leader.

Ugly incidents marked the day-long deliberations held in party headquarters, Khasa kothi tourist hotel and houses of various chief ministerial aspirants leading to a dead end.

Clash between supporters of Gehlot and Dr C.P Joshi in Khasa Kothi spoilt the taste of victory for the party. Angry workers tore party flags and posters. Later, supporters of various aspirants gathered outside the party headquarters and continued raising slogans against each other.

The police, including mounted battalion and anti-riot squad, kept them at bay on different ends of the office.

Gehlotís profile

Ashok Gehlot was born on May 3, 1951, at Jodhpur in Rajasthan. An MA in Economics, he was elected Member Parliament for the first time from Jodhpur in 1980.

He was appointed as president of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee for the first time in 1985 and again in 1994 and 1997. Gehlot held the post of Union deputy minister for tourism and civil aviation in the Cabinet headed by Indira Gandhi in 1982.

In 1989, he became a minister in the Department of Home Affairs and PHED, Government of Rajasthan. Gehlot also held independent charge of the textile ministry in the Cabinet of P.V Narasimha Rao in 1991. He first became the Chief Minister of Rajasthan in 1998.

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