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Ahead of Rajasthan Cabinet rejig, Ajay Maken meets MLAs individually 

Sachin Pilot and several other MLAs had mounted an open rebellion against Gehlot last June. 

Published: 28th July 2021 06:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2021 06:58 PM   |  A+A-

Ashok gehlot, Sachin Pilot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Congress leader Sachin Pilot ( File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

JAIPUR: Congress leader Ajay Maken Wednesday began a series of meetings with party MLAs and those supporting it for their feedback on the performance of the Ashok Gehlot government ahead of the state Cabinet reshuffle.

As Maken began the two-day exercise in the assembly building here, Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria said the Congress leadership holding one-on-one discussions with MLAs indicates the state government is not able to function well.

The AICC general secretary (Rajasthan in-charge) will hold discussions with party MLAs and those supporting it over the reshuffle exercise, political appointments and the naming of district and block presidents of the party.

Sources said the MLAs are meeting Maken individually under district-wise slots allotted to them.

The brainstorming session began with the MLAs from Jaipur.

"Discussions on various points including the achievements of the government and what else can be done to enhance its performance were held," Adarsh Nagar MLA (Jaipur) Rafeek Khan told reporters after the meeting.

He said the implementation of the CM Chiranjeevi Health Insurance scheme was also discussed.

On the first day on Wednesday, MLAs from Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Alwar, Baran, Dausa, Karauli, Sawaimadhopur, Bharatpur, Bundi, Kota and Dholpur are scheduled to meet Maken, party sources said.

The MLAs of the remaining district will meet him Thursday.

Civil Lines MLA and Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khacharyiawas said the Congress is a democratic party and its high command hears all its members.

"Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said to us that he is our guardian.

Maken is also holding meetings as a guardian," he said, adding thee is no internal dispute in the party and discussions were held on welfare schemes and their implementation.

On the Cabinet reshuffle, he said it is the prerogative of the chief minister and the final decision has been left to the party high command.

Chaksu MLA Vedprakash Solanki, a vocal Sachin Pilot loyalist, said he has apprised Maken of all the issues and is satisfied that the party high command is now listening to all legislators.

"I gave my suggestions and whatever I had to say, I told him. I am satisfied that our viewpoint is now being communicated directly to the party high command. Now, the high command is not listing only us, but listening to all MLAs," Solanki said.

The Congress came to power in December 2018 and has completed half of the tenure.

Leader of Opposition Kataria said if the "ruling party has this level of dispute that one-on-one meetings with MLAs are required, the government cannot function well".

"Such governments are not able to function well and cannot do well for the people," he said.

He also questioned the government's decision to hold the dialogues with the MLAs in the assembly building.

"In order to maintain the sanctity of the assembly, the Congress party should have organised this exercise somewhere else," he said.

In the house of 200, the Congress has 106 MLAs and most of the 13 independents support it.

On Saturday night, Maken and AICC general secretary KC Venugopal had held a meeting with Chief Minister Gehlot over the Cabinet reshuffle.

On Sunday, Maken had said there is no dispute on the Cabinet reshuffle in the state and the decision regarding this has been left to the party high command.

The party's central leadership will take the final call about the cabinet reshuffle, he had said, adding he will take feedback from the MLAs on all issues and will give a report to the party high command.

The reshuffle may take place in the next few days.

Apart from the Cabinet reshuffle, political appointments in various Boards and Corporations and appointments of district and block presidents of the party will also take place soon.

Pilot and several other MLAs had mounted an open rebellion against Gehlot last June. After a month-long crisis, the Congress top brass had formed a committee to look into the issues raised by Pilot, who alleged that his camp was being sidelined by the Gehlot government.

Earlier this week, Pilot told reporters that he was in touch with the Congress high command to resolve the issues raised by him and that the "AICC is taking steps for the betterment of the government and party organisation".



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