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Speculation in Rajasthan over Congress ticket for Ashok Gehlot’s son

Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, Mar 15 (PTI) With the Congress about to announce its first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, speculation about electoral debut of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot is gaining ground.

Vaibhav Gehlot, currently a state unit general secretary, is likely to be fielded from his home turf Jodhpur or Jalore-Sirohi Lok Sabha constituency as the respective district Congress committees have received proposals supporting his candidature, party insiders said.

Another favourable seat could be the Tonk-Swai Madhopur parliamentary constituency from where Vaibhav Gehlot’s name was floated during the 2009 Lok Sabha election. If Ashok Gehlot’s statement made at a recent public meeting in Sirohi is anything to go by, Vaibhav can be fielded from Jalore-Sirohi seat.

During his visit to Sirohi, the chief minister had said, “I know that Vaibhav’s name is doing the rounds. It was my wish five years ago that he contests from Jalore-Sirohi. But he could not get a ticket due to some reason… We had campaigned and I had also come to Jalore.”

However, Ashok Gehlot went on to clarify that the final decision on ticket distribution would be taken by the Congress high command. “We are loyal soldiers of the Congress. If Rahul Gandhi picks some other candidate, then you see Vaibhav Gehlot in him,” he had said.

Later, at a press conference, the chief minister said if it was in his hands, he would have given Vaibhav Gehlot the opportunity to contest elections 10 years ago. Ashok Gehlot had said, “He is a party worker, ask him from where he will contest and ask the party where it will field him from.”

At one time, even Rajasthan Congress chief and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot appeared to support Vaibhav Gehlot’s candidature.

Earlier in January, Pilot had said, “Vaibhav Gehlot is active in the party for a long time. He may not have got the opportunity (to contest elections) due to some reasons in the past. But it will be our endeavour that candidates like him get a chance to come forward. The party’s focus is on youths and there will be an effort to give them a chance.”

However, on March 5, he said the Congress was of the opinion that it would be better to find candidates other than sitting MPs, MLAs, those who lost elections in the past and family members of party leaders.

Choice of party workers and people and winnability of candidates would be considered, he had said. Polling will be held in Rajasthan in two phases on April 29 and May 6.

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