Ashok Gehlot calls ‘last’ cabinet meeting tomorrow before major reshuffle

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

Jaipur:

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has called a meeting of his Council of Ministers this evening in which some of them are likely to resign. This may be the last meeting with the current cabinet ministers as the stage is now set for the much-awaited cabinet reshuffle in the state. Sources say that the oath ceremony may take place at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.

Three ministers close to the CM have turned the ball by offering to resign. He has written a letter to Sonia Gandhi offering him to step down from his posts and work for the party. He has already been given organizational responsibility. Revenue Minister and Barmer MLA Harish Choudhary has been made the party in-charge of Punjab, a figure seen as a key figure in running the Congress in Punjab during the recent political crisis.

Raghu Sharma, MLA from Kekdi in Ajmer, has been made the party in-charge of Gujarat.

Last year, state education minister Govind Singh Dotasra replaced Sachin Pilot as party president after Mr Pilot revolted against Mr Gehlot.

Speaking to news agency ANI today, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President Mr Dotasara said that he has resigned from his ministerial post citing the ‘one post one person’ discipline of the Congress.

“Keeping in mind the ‘one post one person’ discipline of the Congress party, we have tendered our resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi. I will work as a party worker to see that the people in Rajasthan get the support of the state government. Schemes are getting the benefits,” he said.

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

Half a dozen supporters of Mr Pilot are likely to join the cabinet and he himself may be given a bigger role in the party outside Rajasthan.

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

There are currently 21 ministers in the CM’s cabinet and there is space for another nine.

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