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As the Congress party president Rahul Gandhi readies to take a final call on the next chief minister of Rajasthan after consultations with senior colleagues, over two-thirds of the newly elected party MLAs plus a majority of the independents have pledged support to the state Congress chief Sachin Pilot.

Former chief minister and senior leader Ashok Gehlot and Pilot are the main contenders for the coveted post. Yesterday, as the Congress touched the 99 mark in the 200 member house, the BJP CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia submitted her resignation,

The newly elected MLAs met this morning for preliminary discussions on choosing he next CM. The AICCV has dispatched former union minister party general secretary K C Venugopal as observer to the state. “The observer will seek individual opinion of the MLAs,” AICC secretary Avinash Pande said. He said the Congress president will be apprised of the feedback and a second meeting of the Congress legislature party will be held on Wednesday evening.

The decision on the chief ministerial candidate would be announced after the second meeting, he said.”Apart from the discussion on the name of Congress legislature party leader, several other issues will be discussed in the meeting” he said.  When asked whether there is any other name for the post, Pande said that it will depend on the newly elected legislators.

“We will seek individual opinion of MLAs, view of senior leaders and then the party high command will be apprised of the feedback. As per the party’s custom, the high command will take final decision about the leadership in the state,” Venugopal said.

–India Legal Bureau

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