Rajasthan Congress cabinet reshuffle likely: Sources

Jaipur: On Wednesday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met the party’s central leaders in Delhi to discuss the long pending issue of accommodating supporters of Sachin Pilot into the state cabinet.

According to media sources, the Congress high command is keen that the reshuffle take place immediately and supporters of Mr Pilot be accommodated.

on Wednesday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, and party in-charge for Rajasthan, Ajay Maken, were present at the meeting in Rahul Gandhi’s residence. Gandhi, however, did not attend the meeting. Sources said the discussion involved cabinet reshuffle and appointments in the state corporations, which Gehlot has been delaying for over a year.

Accommodating Pilot’s supporters in the cabinet was seen as part of the peace formula worked out by Ms Gandhi Vadra last year when the Pilot faction was on the warpath.

The rebellion, which festered for a month, had brought the Ashok Gehlot government on verge of collapse.

Pilot — seen to be behind the party’s revival in Rajasthan — was a contender for the Chief Minister’s post. But he was persuaded by Rahul Gandhi to take the job of Ashok Gehlot’s deputy after the party’s victory in the 2018 assembly polls.

The friction between the two has continued since.

Matters came to a head last year when Mr Pilot rebelled along with 18 loyalists, camping out in Delhi with his supporters who insisted on a bigger role for him in the government.

The bitter stand-off was resolved after more than month, with his meeting with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

In September this year, Pilot — still keen on the top job in Rajasthan –had another couple of meetings with the younger Gandhis, who are seen as reluctant to a change of leadership in the state. The Gandhis reportedly want him to take charge of Gujarat ahead of elections in the state next year. There is no indication whether Pilot is ready for the job.

It was, however, decided in the 45-minute meeting that the Rajasthan cabinet will be expanded to include several loyalists of Pilot.


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