With the Congress having left the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) behind in the Rajasthan assembly election, the expectations are that it will form the government, either by itself or by reaching out to other parties for an alliance. The next question is, who will the party choose to be the chief minister?
Reports suggest that the choice is between former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and state Congress president Sachin Pilot. Gehlot won the Sardarpura constituency, defeating BJP's Shambhu Singh Khetasar, while Pilot won from Tonk against his BJP rival Yoonus Khan.
According to Moneycontrol, both the leaders held a closed-door meeting in Jaipur on Tuesday.
Currently, the Congress has won or is in leading in 97 seats, according to the Election Commission's website. The BJP's tally is at 74 seats.
Both Pilot and Gehlot have said that party president Rahul Gandhi will take the call.
Pilot said Gandhi and the party's MLAs will decide on the chief minister.
Asserting that it is a decisive day today, Pilot recalled that almost exactly a year ago Gandhi became the chief of the party.
"What could be a better gift to him than victory in these states," Pilot said.
Gehlot also dismissed questions about the next chief minister while lauding the Congress' performance. "As far as who will become the chief minister is concerned, go to Rahul Gandhi because it is a decision that will be taken collectively," he was quoted as saying by Zee News.
Ahead of the elections, Pilot and Gehlot had dismissed suggestions that there was any infighting among the state leaders and asserted that they will unitedly take on the BJP.
According to The Times of India, the margin of victory could decides the next chief minister of Rajasthan.
If the party gets a clear majority, the report added, Pilot has a better chance. However, in case of a hung assembly, the balance could tilt in favour of Gehlot.
(With PTI inputs)