Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)


- HT Correspond­ent

A cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan is likely to take place next month as the Congress leadership has started the exercise, party leaders familiar with the developmen­t said.

Rajasthan has now 21 ministers including the chief minister – 11 cabinet ministers and 10 ministers of state. The state with 200 assembly constituen­cies can appoint a maximum of 30 ministers. “Efforts are being made to pacify the disgruntle­d faction by inducting some new faces,” a senior party leader said.

“The party after the political crisis last year had included names from the Sachin Pilot faction in the state executive. Similarly 3-4 names as suggested by him (Pilot) will find place in the cabinet. It is expected that after Rahul Gandhi’s appointmen­t as the party chief, cabinet expansion will be done in July,” he said.

The political crisis was triggered after former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot rebelled against CM Ashok Gehlot last year along with 18 supporting MLAS. The crisis ended after the party’s central leadership intervened and formed a committee to address the grievances of the Pilot faction.

The senior leader said efforts are under way on building a consensus among the state leaders on the names to be included in the cabinet. “Demanding appointmen­ts on the basis of a faction isn’t justified; it is in fact a cause of worry. What the party high command suggests is proposing names on merit after discussion­s,” he said.

The leader said everyone in the party understand­s that further delay, be it cabinet reshuffle or political appointmen­ts, would cause more damage to the party and demoralise MLAS and workers. Many party leaders, not wishing to be named, say the way ahead after the cabinet expansion would be challengin­g, as everyone can’t be kept happy.

Last month senior MLA Hemaram Choudhary, a key Pilot supporter, resigned suddenly, complainin­g that his works aren’t being done.

After Choudhary’s resignatio­n, Ved Solanki, a first-time MLA, suggested that the governance should be decentrali­sed.

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