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BJP Lok Sabha member Harish Meena joins Congress ahead of Rajasthan polls

Sachin Pilot said he will contest the Assembly elections on Gandhi's directions and Gehlot's request

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

Jayanagar congress
Photo: @ANI

The Congress, which is increasingly confident of winning at least Rajasthan among the five poll-bound states, has kept the question of its leadership in the state open.

Two of its topmost leaders in the state – former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and state unit chief Sachin Pilot – are set to contest.

Announcing this here at a joint press conference with Pilot sitting next to him, Gehlot said the question of leadership will be settled after the elections.

He suggested this was in accordance to the wishes of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was spreading misinformation about infighting.

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Pilot said he will contest the Assembly elections on Gandhi's directions and Gehlot's request.

The truce has been reached after marathon meetings over the last couple of days, party sources said.

In a boost to the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s sitting Lok Sabha member from Dausa Harish Chandra Meena joined the Congress. Meena, a retired

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Indian Police Service officer, had served as the director general of police when Gehlot was the CM.

BJP had won all 25 Lok Sabha seats of Rajasthan in 2014, but lost Ajmer and Alwar bypolls held earlier this year.

In 2014, Meena had defeated his elder brother and Congress candidate Namonarayan Meena.

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While Namonarayan had come third, National People’s Party’s Kirori Lal Meena was the runner up, losing by a margin of 45,404 votes. Kirori Lal is now a BJP Rajya Sabha member.

Polling for Rajasthan’s 200-seats is scheduled for December 7, a day after the anniversary of the razing of the Babri Masjid.

First Published: Thu, November 15 2018. 03:06 IST