Glad that change is happening, says Pilot ahead of cabinet reshuffle

The new state cabinet will for the first time have four SC members, a step taken by the Congress after elevating a Dalit as the chief minister of Punjab.

Sachin Pilot (left) and the MLAs supporting him had revolted against Ashok Gehlot (right) last year over his style of functioning, after which Pilot was removed from the posts of state party chief and Rajasthan deputy CM.

The much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan will take place later today (November 21) which is likely to see the induction of 12 new faces, including five from the Sachin Pilot camp.

All Rajasthan ministers resigned during a meeting at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence on Saturday ahead of the reshuffle. The move comes after Sachin Pilot held several discussions with party leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Evidently, Sachin Pilot is elated. “We have to fight the BJP together to win the next elections. I am glad that the high command took note of the concerns and bringing in the change.”

Pilot’s statement assumes significance because it comes a year after his (he was Deputy CM) revolt against Gehlot, which plunged the Congresss into a crisis.

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“New ministers will be sworn in today. The step is sending a positive message across the state. We have been raising issues time and again. I’m happy that party, high command, and the state government took note of it,” Pilot told media on Sunday morning.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has accepted the resignation of three cabinet ministers — Raghu Sharma, Harish Chaudhary and Govind Singh Dotasra.

The resignation of Sharma, Chaudhary and Dotasra was accepted as they hold party positions and the “one man, one post” formula has been applied in the state.

Sharma has been appointed as the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Gujarat, Chaudhary as the AICC in-charge for Punjab and Dotasra is the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief.

The Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government will have a total of 30 ministers, including 18 who had resigned earlier.

Three ministers of state, all of whom are from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community, have been elevated to the cabinet rank, a PTI report said.

The new state cabinet will for the first time have four SC members, a step taken by the Congress after elevating a Dalit as the chief minister of Punjab.

There will be three ministers from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community, the sources said, adding that the cabinet will also feature three women  — a Muslim, one from the SC community and a Gujjar.

Also read: Is Gehlot going Amarinder way? 

Among the new ministers to take oath as cabinet ministers are Hemaram Chaudhary, Mahendrajit Singh Malviya, Ramlal Jat, Mahesh Joshi, Vishvendra Singh, Ramesh Meena, Mamta Bhupesh Bhairwa, Bhajanlal Jatav, Tikaram Juli, Govind Ram Meghwal and Shakuntala Rawat.

Those who will take oath as the new ministers of state on Sunday are Zahida, Brijendra Singh Ola, Rajendra Durha and Muralilal Meena.

Among those from the Sachin Pilot camp who have been included in the ministry are Vishvendra Singh, Ramesh Meena and Hemaram Chaudhary as cabinet ministers, besides Brijendra Ola and Murari Meena as ministers of state.

Two of them — Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena — were sacked as cabinet ministers during a political crisis in the state last year.

The three SC ministers who have been elevated to the cabinet rank are Bhajanlal Jatav, Mamta Bhupesh Bhairwa and Tikaram Juli.

Another SC member, former MP Govind Ram Meghwal, is a fresh face to be included in the refurbished cabinet.

Rajinder Guda, a former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA who later joined the Congress, has also been included as a minister.

Dotasra shared the list of the 15 ministers — 11 cabinet ministers and four ministers of state — to be sworn in on Sunday on Twitter.

Sources said no independent MLA has been given a ministerial berth, while some of them would be included as parliamentary secretaries.

Some former BSP legislators would also be included as parliamentary secretaries, they said, adding that some senior MLAs would be made advisers to the chief minister.

After the recent bypolls, in which it snatched a seat from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling Congress has 102 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly.

Earlier, ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle, all ministers in the Rajasthan government resigned during a meeting at Chief Minister Gehlot’s residence in Jaipur on Saturday evening.

Later in the evening, the Chief Minister went to the Raj Bhawan and held a meeting with Governor Kalraj Mishra in connection with the cabinet reshuffle.

 

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