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Cong. leader’s Jaipur visit triggers speculation on Cabinet reshuffle

An unannounced visit of senior Congress leader Kumari Selja to Jaipur, where she met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, has triggered fresh speculations about a Cabinet reshuffle in the State. Ms. Selja arrived here on Sunday night and left for New Delhi on Monday morning after holding a meeting with Mr. Gehlot.

Though the Pradesh Congress Committee did not issue any official statement on Ms. Selja’s visit, the political observers here postulated that she had travelled to Jaipur to convey a message from the Congress’ central leadership. Ms. Selja, who headed a screening committee to select candidates for the 2018 State Assembly election, is considered close to Mr. Gehlot.

The Congress has been trying to evolve a consensus on the impending expansion and reshuffle of the State Cabinet amid the demands raised by rival factions in the ruling party. All India Congress Committee general secretary Ajay Maken, who was in the State Capital for three days last week, had hinted that some Ministers might be dropped to make way for fresh faces.

Ms Selja, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief, is also considered a confidante of party president Sonia Gandhi. In a bid to keep her Jaipur visit a secret, the ruling party arranged the vehicles registered in Haryana to take her from the Sanganer airport to the Chief Minister’s official residence.

Mr. Maken — the AICC in-charge of Rajasthan — visited Jaipur last week to interact with the Congress MLAs and Independents supporting the Congress in order to get their feedback on the State government’s performance. Several legislators reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with some Ministers and accused them of being inaccessible.

‘Exercise in futility’

Sikar-based political analyst Ashfaq Kayamkhani described the repeated visits of senior Congress leaders as an “exercise in futility”. Mr. Kayamkhani said no party leader could gather courage to challenge Mr. Gehlot, who was unwilling to yield space to former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and his supporters, and the Cabinet reshuffle was not likely to take place anytime soon.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 6:57:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cong-leaders-jaipur-visit-triggers-speculation-on-cabinet-reshuffle/article35690774.ece

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