JAIPUR: Hoping to resolve the rift in the Rajasthan party unity after forcing a solution in Punjab, Congress general secretaries K C Venugopal and Ajay Maken on Sunday indicated a cabinet reshuffle and a clutch of political appointments would be made soon to address the demands of all factions.
Both held a meeting with PCC president Govind Sigh Dotasra and several state ministers, MLAs and office bearers at the party office here. The meeting happened in the presence of rebel leader and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and his group of MLAs.
A large group of Pilot’s supporters shouted slogans outside the PCC office while the meeting was on. As they grew more vociferous, Pilot had to send some leaders from his own group to persuade them to pipe down. Earlier in the day, Venugopal and Maken called on Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and reportedly discussed the rejig.
True to the party’s culture, all leaders left the decision on the reshuffle to the high command. “We’re discussing the cabinet expansion, appointment of district and block-level chiefs of Congress and appointments in boards and corporations with our leaders,” Maken later shared.
Maken, the AICC general secretary in charge for Rajasthan, however, did not have a date for the cabinet expansion. He will be back in Jaipur on July 28 and 29 for one-on-one meetings with all MLAs. The state cabinet can have a maximum of 30 ministers. It currently has 21, including the CM.
The Rajasthan impasse has been on ever since Pilot, along with 18 MLAs, rebelled against Gehlot last July. Though Pilot came back to the party after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s intervention, his demands have not been met. In recent days, the demand for cabinet expansion and political appointments has gained momentum.