Rajasthan cabinet reshuffle likely in mid-August

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.  

The Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan is all set for a cabinet expansion by the second week of August, a well placed Congress source said on Monday.

The source told The Hindu that party general secretary (organization) K.C. Venugopal and the general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken, are learnt to have firmed up a peace formula between Chief Minister Gehlot and his former deputy, Sachin Pilot, who had rebelled against Mr. Gehlot last July.

Resolving factionalism in Rajasthan is first priority for the party and Mr. Maken is scheduled to visit Jaipur again on July 28 and 29 to have discussions with MLAs.

While some of Mr Pilot’s supporters will find a place in the Council of Ministers, Mr. Pilot himself is likely to be drafted as a general secretary in the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

Two different sources said that apart from accommodating Mr. Pilot's supporters, the Congress leadership is looking to reward some of the independent MLAs that support the Gehlot government as well as the former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) lawmakers who merged their party with the Congress.

Hence apart from a cabinet rejig, in which non-performers may be dropped, the Congress will also consider appointing chairpersons to various corporations boards and commissions along with new ministers.

Currently, there are nine vacancies in the Council of Ministers but it is not known how many of them will be given to the Pilot camp. There is a reported tussle over it.

Supporters of Mr Gehlot are not keen that the party concedes too many seats to MLAs whose rebellion had threatened the stability of the Congress government a year ago.

Those supporting Mr. Pilot, however, argue that their fight was never about ministerial berths but about giving dignity to leaders who worked hard to bring the party to power in 2018.

Amid claims and counter claims, top Congress sources indicated that all the ministerial vacancies may not be filled up in one go and a few vacancies may be there even after the reshuffle exercise.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 7:36:39 AM |

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