Other States

With Pilot losing support, no early Cabinet expansion in Rajasthan

With former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot losing his grip on the MLAs who sided with him during the last year’s political crisis, the Cabinet expansion and political appointments in Rajasthan are likely to get delayed.

Several of the MLAs considered loyal to Mr. Pilot have expressed faith in CM Ashok Gehlot’s leadership.

Sardarshahar MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma,, oldest legislator in the Assembly at 76, said here on Tuesday though he considered Mr. Pilot his leader, Mr. Gehlot was above him in his capacity as the CM.

“Even Mr. Pilot will have to respect him as his leader,” Mr. Sharma, who had stayed with the former Deputy CM during his rebellion, told reporters here.

Mr. Sharma said he had camped along with Mr. Pilot outside Rajasthan during the rebellion because the public works in his constituency were not being done by the State government. “I have no complaints against the government now... The issue of resentment in Congress is being exaggerated.”

Future moves

The septuagenarian Congress leader is the third Pilot loyalist, after Viratnangar MLA Indraj Gujjar and Todabhim MLA P.R. Meena, to praise Mr. Gehlot for the works done in their constituencies in the recent days. Deeg-Kumher MLA Vishvendra Singh, who was sacked as the Tourism Minister during the turmoil, also met Mr. Gehlot recently, triggering speculation about his future moves.

Mr. Gehlot has given enough indications that the Cabinet reshuffle and expansion would not be carried out under pressure from the Pilot camp.

The Chief Minister’s Office said in a statement released on Monday that Mr. Gehlot would not meet anyone in person for the next one to two months as a precaution in view of his condition following his recovery from the COVID-19 infection.

The sources in the Congress said this situation would automatically result in the Cabinet expansion being deferred by a couple of months.

“This is an astute move by Mr. Gehlot. He has tactfully conveyed to both Mr. Pilot and the AICC committee that he is not going to bow under their pressure,” Sikar-based political analyst Ashfaq Kayamkhani remarked.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 9:54:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/with-pilot-losing-support-no-early-cabinet-expansion-in-rajasthan/article34825192.ece

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