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Ashok Gehlot, Indira Gandhi's protege, appointed Rajasthan CM for third time

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Jaipur, Dec 14: Senior Congress leader and AICC General Secretary Ashok Gehlot appointed Chief Minister of Rajasthan for the third time. After day-long deliberations with party MLAs, the party announced Ashok Gehlot's name.

Ashok Gehlot

NDTV quoting a source reported that Ashok Gehlot is the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan. A couple of minutes before Rahul Gandhi tweeted a photo with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. Reports suggest that this is a hint for the end of a tussle for the top post.

When Ashok Gehlot returned to state politics he was perceived as a contender to CM's post.

Not ruling himself out of the race for the top post in the state should Congress win, Gehlot in an exclusive interview to PTI said he would be open to any role Congress president Rahul Gandhi assigns him in the interest of the party. Also, during the campaign, Gehlot denied tussle with Sachin Pilot with respect to CM's post.

Ashok Gehlot belongs to Mali (Gardener) community who have a sizeable population in the State. The Gandhi loyalist, Gehlot has a history of working closely with Indira, Rajiv as well as Sonia - gave him an edge over Pilot. He was the Chief Minister of Rajasthan from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2013. Currently, he is AICC General Secretary and in-charge of organizations and training. He hails from Jodhpur and represents Sardarpura constituency of Jodhpur district as Member of Legislative Assembly.

The Congress gives credit to Gehlot for reviving the party in Gujarat in the 2017 assembly elections. Gehlot took charge of the Gujrat's state Congress, he replaced senior leader Gurudas Kamat and continued the trend of Congress bringing to the front the younger leaders. Gehlot claimed to have been successful for planning Rahul Gandhi's campaign in the Shah-Modi bastion. Congress won 77 seats and restricted BJP in 2017. The party had won only 61 seats in the last Assembly elections in 2012.

During 1971's East Bengali refugees crisis he served in the refugee camps in the eastern states of India. It is there when former prime minister Indira Gandhi first identified his organizational skills during one of her visits to the refugee camps. Gehlot was later appointed the first state president of National Student's Union of India (NSUI) and successfully organised Congress's student wing in the state.

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