PCC President among 3 Cabinet Ministers that resigned ahead of Rajasthan Cabinet Reshuffle
Three Rajasthan Cabinet Ministers– Harish Chaudhary, Raghu Sharma, and Govind Singh Dotasra— have sent a letter to Sonia Gandhi, offering their resignation ahead of Rajasthan Cabinet Reshuffle.
In the run-up to Rajasthan Cabinet Reshuffle, three cabinet ministers including Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) resigns from their ministerial posts. State Congress in charge and senior Congress leader Ajay Maken announced the resignation of education minister Govind Singh Dotasara, health minister Raghu Sharma and revenue minister Harish Chaudhary on Friday. The much-delayed Rajasthan cabinet expansion will take place on November 22, after the Congress high command sitting in New Delhi finally gave its nod.
Harish Chaudhary, was appointed as Congress in charge of Punjab last month. Talking about his new role while being a Rajasthan minister, Harish Chaudhary had mentioned that he had, from the start, believed in “one person, one position”. He, however, added that he will convey his views to the party leadership and will abide by their decision in this regard. Dotasra is a junior minister, while Sharma and Chaudhary are cabinet ministers. The three resignations increase the number of vacancies in the Gehlot cabinet to 12. The maximum bench strength allowed in Rajasthan Cabinet is 30, going by the 15% cap for a 200-member state assembly.
Gehlot and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot have been meeting top Congress leaders in New Delhi, with the chief minister meeting president Sonia Gandhi last week. Gehlot also met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at the residence of Rahul Gandhi, where general secretaries Ajay Maken and KC Venugopal were also present. The meeting discussed various modalities such as adopting the formula of ‘one man, one post’ while also considering appointments in the cabinet. Pilot, too, recently met Priyanka and Rahul to discuss his future as well as the accommodation of some of his loyalists in the new cabinet.
The reshuffle holds immense significance as the Pilot faction is expecting that he will be made CM before the state goes to polls in 2023. In July last year, Pilot mounted an open rebellion against Gehlot following which he was removed as the deputy CM and as the Panchayati Raj minister. Pilot loyalists Vishvendra Singh, who was the tourism minister, and Ramesh Meena, the then food and civil supplies minister, were also shunted out.
According to top sources in Congress Party, at least four MLAs from the Pilot faction are likely to be inducted as cabinet ministers in the Gehlot-led cabinet. In January, Congress appointed Pilot’s loyalists to the party-state executive in an attempt to show some balance. The reshuffle now will not just show where Pilot stands in the Congress, but will also reflect the high command’s stance.
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