Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took oath of office as the 14th Chief Minister of Rajasthan in the presence of the Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other top party leaders in Jaipur on Monday.
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot, too, was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state by Governor Kalyan Singh.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje were present at the swearing-in ceremony.
Also in attendance were a host of anti-BJP Opposition leaders including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, JD(S) president HD Deve Gowda, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
The names of Gehlot and Pilot for the posts were finalised by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on 14 December. The decision was announced at a party meeting in New Delhi in the presence of observer KC Venugopal.
“Congress President Rahul Gandhi has decided to appoint Ashok Gehlot Ji as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot will be the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan,” Venugopal said.
Following his appointment as the Deputy CM, Pilot, an MP from Ajmer and one of the frontrunners for the CM’s post, thanked Gandhi for the decision to make Gehlot the Chief Minister.
“I would like to thank Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other legislators for taking this decision to make Ashok Gehlot Ji the Chief Minister of Rajasthan,” he said.
Pilot, the son of Congress MP late Rajesh Pilot, had led the Congress battle in the state as the president of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee.
He now becomes the fifth deputy Chief Minister in Rajasthan’s history.
Gehlot, on the other hand, has previously served as Chief Minister of Rajasthan for two full non-consecutive terms. He now becomes the 14th Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
In the recently held assembly elections, Gehlot won from the Sardarpura constituency in Churu district beating Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Shambhu Singh by 45,597 votes.
Rajasthan was one of the three states the Congress wrested from the BJP. The other two were Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, both of which the grand old party won after 15 years.