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Congress Shifts Focus To Rajasthan Cabinet Reshuffle, Maken Says ‘No Contradiction’ In Leaders

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Jaipur: AICC general secretary Ajay Maken on Sunday said that Congress leaders in Rajasthan would accept what leadership decides on the issue of a cabinet reshuffle as state unit chief Govind Singh Dotasra chaired a meeting of 25 MLAs on Sunday to discuss the expansion.

After meeting ministers, MLAs, and office-bearers at the party office, Maken said that Congress leaders have unanimously entrusted the decision of the cabinet reshuffle on the party high command.

Now that the Punjab political crisis has resolved to a certain extent, the Congress high command has shifted its focus to Rajasthan where demands for Cabinet expansion and political appointments have gained momentum.

This came amid reports of resentment among loyalists of former deputy CM Sachin Pilot, who along with 18 MLAs had rebelled against CM Ashok Gehlot last year.

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“I can say that there is no contradiction among the party leaders and they all have left the final decision about the cabinet expansion to the party high command,” Ajay Maken told reporters.

He did not disclose the date of the cabinet expansion. He and AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal had arrived at the party office in Jaipur for the meeting.

The general secretary informed that issues like inflation and the Pegasus matter were discussed.

“People of the country are suffering from high inflation, many have lost jobs during the pandemic, and instead of spending money and resources for people, the central government misused the resources for snooping and spying on leaders, journalists and judiciary. This is highly condemnable,” he said.

He also responded to a question about BJP’s allegations against PCC chief and Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra wherein the saffron party accused him of influencing the interview process of the Rajasthan Administrative Services 2018 examination in favour of two relatives.

“Dotasra is being cornered as he had targeted RSS leader Nimbaram and the BJP,” Maken replied.

The AICC general secretary will come to Jaipur again on July 28 to hold discussions with MLAs on the appointment of district and block presidents of the party.

KC Venugopal and Maken had late on Saturday night held discussions on the issues of cabinet reshuffle and the political appointments with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at his residence.

Three days ago, Sachin Pilot had indicated that Congress would soon take appropriate steps to address issues raised by him.

He revealed he is in touch with the party’s high command over issues raised by him and expressed hope that the necessary steps would be taken soon.

The Congress leader was sacked as the deputy chief minister and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief in July last year after he rebelled against Gehlot. After the month-long political crisis, the party high command announced to form a three-member committee to look into the issues raised by him.

Last month, MLAs from the Pilot camp said that the party should fulfill the promises made to Pilot last month, following which the demand for Cabinet expansion and political appointments gained momentum.

At present, there are 21 members in the council of ministers, including the chief minister, and nine slots are vacant. Rajasthan can have a maximum of 30 ministers.

(With Agency Inputs)

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