CM Gehlot, deputy Pilot get into action in Rajasthan
Jaipur: Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot took oath as the Rajasthan chief minister on Monday while state party chief Sachin Pilot was appointed as his deputy in a ceremony that turned into a show of strength for Opposition unity. Governor Kalyan Singh administered the oath of office to Gehlot at the historic Albert Hall here. Pilot took oath as a minister and was subsequently appointed as the deputy chief minister by the governor in the presence of a large number of leaders from various political parties.
This is the first time the oath-taking ceremony of the chief minister has taken place at Albert Hall. Traditionally, such ceremonies are held at Raj Bhawan. The BJP's Raje, however, had taken oath outside the Assembly building in 2003 and 2013.
Gehlot has become the fourth leader to hold the chief minister's post for a third time. The Congress leader became the chief minister for the first time in 1998 and held the post again in 2008. Pilot was wearing a 'safa' or a traditional turban as a mark of victory of the Congress in the state. The state Congress president had pledged in 2014 to not wear the traditional headgear till the party returns to power.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, outgoing chief minister Vasundhara Raje attended the event. TMC leader Nadim-Ul-Haque, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav were also present.
Janata Dal (Secular) president and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's (JMM's) Hemant Soren, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) leader Babulal Marandi were among others who attended the event.
DMK president M K Stalin, who had on Sunday proposed the name of Gandhi as PM candidate of the proposed anti-BJP front, was also present.