Ashok Gehlot to be new Rajasthan chief minister

December 11th, 2008 - 11:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiJaipur, Dec 11 (IANS) Ashok Gehlot, former chief minister of Rajasthan, was Thursday evening named leader of the state Congress legislative party, paving the way for his taking over the reins once again.The name of Gehlot, 57, was approved by Congress president Sonia Gandhi after a one-line resolution was passed by the newly-elected MLAs of the party.

Gehlot was chief minister 1998-2003 and has been acknowledged as the main architect of the Congress’ comeback in the state. The Congress wrested Rajasthan from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the assembly elections, winning 96 seats in a house of 200.

After his name was announced, Gehlot told his party supporters that he would provide a transparent and sensitive government, and work to fulfil the promises made in the party’s election manifesto.

Though a formal announcement is still awaited, there were lots of fireworks at the Pradesh Congress Committee office here after Gehlot’s name was selected. He was greeted by slogan shouting supporters, and some lifted him on their shoulders.

According to Congress sources, two of the party MLAs are to be deputy chief ministers.

The date for formal swearing-in has not yet been decided.

The BJP, which ruled the state for the past five years, suffered a shocking defeat, managing to secure only 78 seats.

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