Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot have approached Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the finalisation of the state cabinet. The party’s state election in-charge, Avinash Pande, said Gehlot’s team would be finalised after a meeting with the Congress President.
“The cabinet will have the nod of everyone,” he said. “The CM and deputy CM will shortlist the names. After that, the final nod will be given after the meeting with Rahul Gandhi in presence of senior central leaders.”
“The Chief Minister and I, both of us are in Delhi today. All the required people are in Delhi and we will discuss about the cabinet expansion. Soon we will be able to expand our cabinet. Our government has already started the work in the state for development. But after the council minister expansion, we’ll fast track our work as per our manifesto for development. Whatever will be in favour of the state and the people, and those who should get an opportunity to work will be given a chance by the party,” Pilot said.
CM Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot are expected to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi today. More details by Arvind pic.twitter.com/Kc1lc3pT3S
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) December 22, 2018
“After Sachin Pilot’s stiff resistance to the appointment of Ashok Gehlot as the chief minister, Rahul Gandhi doesn’t want any embarrassing situation. He wants to ensure that there is no difference of opinion between the CM and his deputy over the cabinet. Gandhi would ensure both camps have adequate representation,” said a seven-time MLA from the Congress.
“Senior leaders like BD Kalla, Pramod Jain Bhaya, Narendra Budania, Prashant Bairwa, Gopal Meena and Arjun Bamania are said to have met the central leadership claiming ministerial berth,” said a Congress leader. Political analysts said the power tussle between Gehlot and Pilot could cost the party dear in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The cabinet will be formed keeping in mind the caste equation and regional factor vital for winning the 2019 polls. In the first phase, 15-20 ministers could be inducted.
This is probably for the first time that the leadership in Delhi will decide the state cabinet, a prerogative of the chief minister. In Congress ruled states, the practice is that the CM would send the list of nominees to the high command and induct them after getting its approval.
“Pilot lost the race to CM. Now he wants to assert himself in selecting cabinet ministers. Gehlot would rely more on experience than youth in the first phase to ensure the party performs well in the 2019 elections, ” said Shiv Shankar Pareek, a political analyst.