Nation Current Affairs 21 Nov 2021 Rajasthan: Congress ...

Rajasthan: Congress rings in truce, 15 ministers sworn in with eye on polls

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DC CORRESPONDENT
Published Nov 21, 2021, 2:37 pm IST
Updated Nov 22, 2021, 8:42 am IST
Sachin Pilot happy with reshuffle; Ashok Gehlot says Congress will win in 2023
Mamta Bupesh Bairwa takes oath as Cabinet minister in the presence of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot and Governor Kalraj Mishra during a swearing-in-ceremony, at Raj Bhawan in Jaipur, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (PTI)
 Mamta Bupesh Bairwa takes oath as Cabinet minister in the presence of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot and Governor Kalraj Mishra during a swearing-in-ceremony, at Raj Bhawan in Jaipur, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (PTI)

New Delhi: After months of infighting, the Cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan on Sunday has ensured a truce amongst the warring factions in the Congress Party's state unit. A total of 15 ministers, including 11 Cabinet ministers and four ministers of state were sworn in the Ashok Gehlot government on by Rajasthan governor Kalraj Mishra. The Cabinet rejig comes about 16 months after the then-deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot led a rebellion with the support of MLAs against the government.

In the current reshuffle five loyalists of Mr Pilot have been brought in. These include MLAs Hemaram Choudhary, Vishvendra Singh, Murari Lal Meena, Ramesh Meena and Brijendra Ola. Some of them were ministers previously as well. Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena were sacked as Cabinet ministers along with Mr Pilot in July last year.

 

Besides accommodating some of Mr Pilot’s loyalists as part of the peace formula, the reshuffle clearly is with an eye on Assembly elections just two years away. There is an attempt to send a message to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities as well. Three SC MLAs have been made Cabinet ministers and three ST MLAs have been inducted.

Ahead of the ceremony, Mr Gehlot and Congress in-charge of the state, Ajay Maken, addressed MLAs and other party leaders at the party office in Jaipur. Taking to Twitter, Mr Gehlot congratulated all ministers who were to take oath, adding that together they will win the 2023 Assembly elections and form the government in the state once again.

 

Hours before the reshuffle Mr Pilot too presented a united front as he stressed, "We have to fight the BJP together to win the 2023 elections. I am glad that the high command took note of various concerns in this Cabinet revamp". He further added, "New ministers will be sworn in today. The step taken by the party and the leadership after discussions is sending a positive message across the state. We had raised the issue of equal representation time and again. I'm happy that the party, the high command, and the state government took note of it."

 

"Our Dalit and tribal brothers and sisters have got proper representation [in the new cabinet]. This is a very good thing," Mr Pilot said and added that the number of women has increased from one to three. "Somewhere there is a stamp of Priyanka Gandhi in the Cabinet expansion," he said.

In the last 16 months the Congress high command held several rounds of consultations between all the stakeholders in the state. A high-powered committee was also made to listen to the grievances of all the leaders. State chief minister Mr Ashok Gehlot was in Delhi several times to meet the party high command and Mr Pilot also had several rounds of meetings with the top leadership.

 

Asserting that there is no factionalism in the state Congress Mr Pilot said, “Congress is working under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. This thing that you guys keep talking about this group, that group... there is no group. There are no factions in the party. The decisions (of the Cabinet reshuffle) have been taken together."

It is unclear what new responsibility will be given to Mr Pilot, but he said, "I had met party president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, we discussed a lot of issues. I carried out all responsibilities given to me by the party in the last 20 years with dedication. In the time to come, I will work wherever the party sends me."

 

Ahead of the reshuffle all the ministers in the state resigned on Saturday. Adopting the policy of one leader, one post, Govind Singh Dotasra, Harish Chaudhary and Raghu Sharma had offered their resignations in writing to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday. Mr Dotasra is the state unit chief of the party in Rajasthan. Mr Harish Chaudhary has recently been made incharge of Punjab, while Mr Raghu Sharma is incharge of Gujarat.

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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