Decks cleared for cabinet expansion in Rajasthan

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A year after the Sachin Pilot-led revolt, the Congress in Rajasthan has cleared the decks for a cabinet expansion which may happen soon.

Sources say around five from the Pilot camp will be accommodated in the cabinet, and also appointments to the posts of chairman of boards and corporation have also been finalised.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who was due to travel to Delhi, could not come because of his health issues. Now that he is back working, it may take another week to put the house in order.

Sachin Pilot on Wednesday in Bengaluru hinted on the possible expansion and said, “The Congress leadership is discussing the issue with the chief minister who will do what will be decided by the leadership, but our goal is to bring back the Congress in 2023 and for this everybody has to work together and implement the promises made in the manifesto.”

Congress sources say that the amicable situation has been achieved and both the camps have arrived at an agreed formula, which was not easy as the Congress leadership had been trying for an amicable settlement since last year.

Ajay Maken, party’s General Secretary In-charge in Rajasthan, did not respond to messages sent to him about the possibility of the cabinet expansion in the state.

The party high command had talked to both the factions through the emissary and Sonia Gandhi had even sent Congress’ Haryana unit chief Kumari Selja to end the impasse between the two leaders.

While sources say that Gehlot is keen on cabinet expansion, the high command wants a cabinet reshuffle. Friction between the two Congress groups in Rajasthan, led by Gehlot and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, continues as the Pilot camp insists that the issues raised by them last year have not yet been resolved in the party.

Maken on July 30 after finishing his one-on-one interaction with all the 115 Congress MLAs, and senior party leaders, had said that some ministers had expressed their willingness to resign and work for the party. “Some people want to leave cabinet positions and work for the organisation. We are proud of such people,” he said.

While one month has passed after Maken met MLAs and now it’s expected that things will move faster after Maken returns from Chhattisgarh where he is scheduled to address a press conference on asset monetization on September 3.

–IANS

miz/dpb