15 New Ministers To Take Oath Today In Ashok Gehlot’s Balancing Act

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Ashok Gehlot’s cabinet currently has 20 ministers and there is room for another 10.

Jaipur: Five Sachin Pilot loyalists will be among the 30 members in Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s refreshed cabinet, it was revealed Saturday night. Mr Gehlot’s new-look cabinet will also include 15 new faces, four of whom will be junior ministers.

Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. The countdown to the cabinet reshuffle had begun with several rounds of meetings between Congress leader Sachin Pilot and senior leaders in Delhi. Mr Gehlot also met party leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

  2. Half a dozen supporters of Mr Pilot are likely to be included in the cabinet and he himself could be given a larger role in the party outside of Rajasthan.

  3. Mr Gehlot will also include some of the former BSP MLAs who merged with the Congress in Rajasthan, giving it a comfortable majority in the 200-member house.

  4. The Rajasthan cabinet currently has 21 ministers and there is room for another nine.

  5. Three ministers close to the Chief Minister set the ball rolling by offering to resign earlier in the day. They had written to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi offering to step down from their posts. They have already been given organisational responsibilities.

  6. Harish Chaudhary, Revenue Minister and MLA from Barmer, has been made the party in-charge for Punjab; he was seen as a key figure in steering the Congress in Punjab through the recent political crisis.

  7. Raghu Sharma, MLA from Kekadi in Ajmer, has been made the party in-charge for Gujarat – a state where the Congress hopes to revive its flagging political graph.

  8. Govind Singh Dotasara, the state Education Minister, replaced Sachin Pilot as state party chief last year after Mr Pilot’s rebellion against Mr Gehlot.

  9. Mr Dotasra, president of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), said he has resigned from his ministerial post citing the ‘Ek Pad Ek Vyakti’ discipline of Congress.

  10. “Keeping the ‘Ek Pad Ek Vyakti’ discipline of the Congress party, we have given our resignations to party president Sonia Gandhi. I will work as a party worker to see that the people in Rajasthan are getting the benefits of the state government’s schemes,” he said.

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