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Ashok Gehlot takes oath as Rajasthan chief minister


Ashok Gehlot takes oath as Rajasthan CM, Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM
Ashok Gehlot takes oath as Rajasthan CM, Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM
Senior Congress leader and chief minister-designate Ashok Gehlot took oath of office today at the historic Albert Hall in Jaipur in a ceremony marked by the presence of senior Congress leaders and opposition figures.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also attended the event that saw Ashok Gehlot taking over as the chief minister of Rajasthan for the third time. Rajasthan state Congress president Sachin Pilot was sworn in as deputy chief minister.

Senior leaders from the opposition camp including NCP's Sharad Pawar, JD(S)'s Deve Gowda, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also attended the event.

Gehlot, who belongs to the backward Mali community, is called “Rajasthan's Gandhi” for his simple lifestyle and mass connect. Gehlot is considered close to party president Rahul Gandhi. A conjuror, literally, he assisted his magician father on his tours before joining politics.

In his early years as a politician, he headed the Rajasthan unit of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and was later seen as a staunch loyalist of the Gandhi family.

After his first proper job in the organisation as NSUI's Rajasthan president from 1974 to 1979, he went on to become the Jodhpur district Congress committee president from 1979 to 1982. Then, he was elevated as the state Congress committee's general secretary.

Gehlot was first-elected to Parliament in 1980, and went on to win Lok Sabha elections four more times. Since 1999, he has represented the Sardarpura assembly constituency, winning five consecutive terms in the House. At the Centre, Gehlot has served as a minister of state in the ministries of tourism, civil aviation, sports and textiles, in different stints between 1982 and 1993.

Gehlot was appointed AICC general secretary in charge of Gujarat just months ahead of last year's assembly polls. The Congress didn't win but managed to give the BJP a big scare in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state. In the recent Karnataka assembly polls, he was there in Bengaluru along with Ghulam Nabi Azad to help stitch together a post-poll coalition with Janata Dal (Secular) to form the government.
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