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Sachin Pilot to Make a Smooth Landing in New Rajasthan Cabinet; Gehlot Goes on Backfoot

File photo of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot. (PTI)

File photo of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot. (PTI)

At least four MLAs from the Sachin Pilot faction are likely to be inducted as Cabinet Ministers in the new Ashok Gehlot led cabinet.

The Congress leadership in Delhi has given its nod for the expansion of the Rajasthan cabinet, and former rebel leader Sachin Pilot is most likely to emerge a winner, sources in Delhi told CNN-News18.

At least four MLAs from the Pilot faction are likely to be inducted as Cabinet Ministers in the Ashok Gehlot led cabinet soon, they added.

Parleys have been on in Rajasthan with the top brass making a beeline to the state in a bid to placate ruffled feathers in both Gehlot and Pilot camps. Earlier this month, Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja and Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar had met the Rajasthan chief minister in the run-up to an expected reshuffle of the state Cabinet. The back-to-back visits were a clear indication that there were hiccups in the plan to expand the Gehlot Cabinet, in which MLAs loyal to the former deputy chief minister want a bigger representation.

Congress general secretary Ajay Maken, who is in-charge of Rajasthan at the AICC, had in July also held a series of meetings with party MLAs and state unit leaders in Jaipur.

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In a clear indication that some members of the Gehlot Cabinet may be dropped, Maken had said a few ministers had expressed willingness to quit the state government and work for the organisation.

Including Gehlot, there are 21 members now in the Rajasthan ministry and up to nine more can be accommodated. Similarly, there are vacancies in party units at the district level. The Congress high command had brought about a truce in the Rajasthan unit after rebel MLAs led by Pilot appeared to bring the Gehlot government to the brink of collapse last year.

A three-member AICC committee was formed to look into the grievances of Pilot supporters. But they claim that this has not happened even months later and are seeking a bigger share of power.

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first published:August 31, 2021, 21:36 IST