New Rajasthan Cabinet: Oath ceremony at 4pm on Sunday; more ministers may step aside
If experts are to be believed, in the new changes, the Sachin Pilot camp will be seen gaining an upper hand.
The countdown for the new Ashok Gehlot cabinet formation has started in Rajasthan. All state ministers will submit their resignations from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cabinet on Saturday evening. After this, the oath of office will be administered to the new ministers at 4 pm on Sunday. Earlier on Saturday morning, the resignations of three ministers -- Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara, Revenue Minister Harish Chowdhary and Health Minister Raghu Sharma -- were accepted. These three ministers had offered to resign by sending a letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Friday evening. All three leaders have major responsibilities in the organization.
The roadmap for the reshuffle in the Gehlot cabinet is ready. The Raj Bhavan has been formally informed about the reshuffle. Preparations for the program have started. Governor Kalraj Mishra will return to Jaipur on Saturday evening. Due to the coronavirus situation in the state, there will not be any massive gathering at the swearing-in. State in-charge Ajay Maken had made it clear on Friday night itself that the resignations should be considered accepted. The three ministers had received calls from Delhi.
This evening, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has convened a meeting of the Council of Ministers, in which all the cabinet and state ministers will be involved. In this, all ministers will submit their resignations to Gehlot. Following this, the chief minister will go to the Raj Bhavan at around 8 pm and meet Governor Kalraj Mishra. If sources are to be believed, about 4 more ministers can be changed. However, the situation in this regard will be clear by evening.
A total of 9 cabinet minister posts were vacant in the Gehlot cabinet. After the resignation of these three ministers, that number has now risen to 12. On Friday, the number of ministers came down from 21 to 18. In such a situation, it is believed that 12 vacancies will be filled up. It is not clear which members of the Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot factions will be made ministers in the cabinet expansion. If experts are to be believed, in the new changes, the Pilot camp will be seen gaining an upper hand. Four to five faces of the Pilot camp are likely to get a place in the cabinet. At the same time, his people may also be involved in political appointments. It is certainly believed that along with creating regional and ethnic balance in the reshuffle, Pilot supporters may also get a place in the cabinet.
The differences between the Rajasthan Congress and the government had come to the fore after the Pilot revolted a year ago. At that time, the Congress leadership removed Pilot from the post of deputy chief minister and state Congress president. Along with this, his supporting ministers -- Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena -- were sacked from the cabinet. The high command replaced Pilot with Govind Singh Dotasara on the chair of the Congress state president. After the intervention of the high command, the rebellion stopped. Recently, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi. Since then, the discussions of the expansion of the cabinet got a boost. It is believed that both have submitted the names of their respective people to the top leadership of the party.