Congress high command prepares blueprint for Rajasthan cabinet expansion, meets Gehlot & Pilot

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI/JAIPUR:  To end the rift in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former state chief Sachin Pilot held separate discussions with top Congress leadership over the proposed cabinet reshuffle and major political appointments in the state.

Sources say the party high command had prepared a blueprint for cabinet expansion which was discussed with Gehlot and Pilot. The process, pending for some time, is likely to start at the earliest. The high command wants to settle the matter at the earliest to avoid a crisis situation like Punjab.

Gehlot met general secretary (organization) KC Venugopal, general secretary UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and state incharge Ajay Maken at former party chief Rahul Gandhi’s residence. Pilot also met Venugopal Wednesday to discuss induction of his supporters in the government, boards, corporations and in the organisation.

Sources say that besides identifying the new ministers, names of the chairpersons for various boards and corporations were decided in this meeting. In Rajasthan, appointments of chairman and members are to be made in 40 boards, corporations and commissions. In addition, how much VAT rates should be reduced on petrol and diesel was also discussed.

Before leaving for Delhi, CM Gehlot had visited Jodhpur on Tuesday where he had given clear indications about the expansion of the cabinet. Asked why he was going to Delhi, he clearly hinted that the expansion of the cabinet was on the agenda of his trip to Delhi. 

There is pressure on the high command to give space in the government and party organisation to Pilot and his supporters. Independent and ex-BSP MLAs who supported the government during the crisis after Pilot’s rebellion a year ago, will also be suitably rewarded.