Rahul asks cadre to name CM choice

As the Congress party was looking to identify its chief ministerial candidate in Chhattisgarh, where it won a massive victory, M Kharge, party observer for the state, said, “It has been unanimously decided that the head of the CLP leaders will be decided by Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi had said that even if a resolution is passed unanimously, every MLA should be talked to & their opinions have to be considered. We'll take the consensus of all MLAs and senior leaders & then the High Command will take a decision (on CM) &we'll go according to that procedure. There's no confusion,our people are united.”

Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel and senior leader TS Singh Deo are front-runners for the chief ministership.

Meanwhile, amid hectic lobbying for the post of  chief minister in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has asked the party workers to tell their top choice for the chief minister post in each of the three states, party sources said.

Using an internal messaging platform for the party workers, Gandhi sent out to them a pre-recorded audio message seeking their feedback for selection of the chief minister in their respective states, the sources said. Despite repeated attempts, the party spokespersons did not comment on the message and its content. The exact time when the the message was sent could not be ascertained.

Sources, however, said the message has been sent to a large number of party workers in the states that went to polls, a PTI report said.

Cong yet to decide on CM in Rajasthan

After discussions that lasted hours, the Congress on Wednesday failed to arrive at a consensus in its ranks in Rajasthan on who should be the chief minister even as it staked its claim to form the government.

The decision on the chief minister will be taken Thursday by party president Rahul Gandhi, All India Congress Committee general secretary Avinash Pande told reporters after a party delegation met governor Kalyan Singh to seek an invitation to form the government.

Pande said Rahul will be briefed about the deliberations by the Congress Legislature Party in Jaipur over the chief minister’s post. Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, both MLAs, are the frontrunners for the post and were part of the delegation that met Kalyan Singh.

Earlier in the day, the CLP held a scheduled meeting at the party office, where it passed a one-line resolution in which the newly elected MLAs authorised Rahul to decide on the chief minister’s post. After the resolution was passed, K C Venugopal, the AICC observer sent by the party to Jaipur, held discussions with individual MLAs, seeking their opinion. The exercise went on for several hours but there was no consensus and the CLP then left the decision on Rahul.

“We will hand over our report to the party president on Thursday,” Pande said.

Apart from AICC general secretaries Venugopal and Pande, the party had also sent four AICC secretaries to Jaipur. They are all expected to meet Rahul in Delhi. Both Pilot and Gehlot would remain in Jaipur, party leaders said.