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Mix of Old Hands and Newbies as 22 Ministers to Join Ashok Gehlot Cabinet Today, Vacancies Remain
All 22 legislators, whose names were finalised by Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot and Rahul Gandhi, will take oath at 11:30am on Monday.
Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh shakes hands with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot as Deputy CM Sachin Pilot looks on during the duo’s swearing-in ceremony in Jaipur on Monday. (PTI)
Jaipur/New Delhi: As many as 23 newly elected legislators — 22 from Congress and one from Rashtriya Lok Dal — are expected to take oath as ministers in the Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan cabinet on Monday.
Chief Minister Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, who took oath on December 17, returned to the state capital on Sunday noon after spending three days in New Delhi for a meeting with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and senior party functionaries.
The names of council of ministers have been finalised by the state Congress leaders, including Gehlot and Pilot, after rounds of discussion with Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders, sources said. The swearing-in ceremony is expected to be held in Jaipur at 11:30am on Monday.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pandey and Congress observer for the state on government formation KC Venugopal, besides AICC secretaries for the state, were also involved in the deliberations for deciding on the ministers, the sources said.
Gandhi intends to focus on having a cabinet with a majority being fresh faces, sources said, adding that the cabinet will be a blend of the old and new guard and will give an opportunity to those who have not held ministerial portfolios in the past. They said over a dozen of them will be seen in Monday’s cabinet expansion.
Meanwhile, Gehlot has so far initiated a few transfers of officials with the likelihood of a thorough reshuffle of bureaucrats after the cabinet formation. “As many as 22 Congress and one alliance partner RLD's MLA are likely to take oath at Raj Bhawan on Monday," a party leader said.
Those who are likely to take oath are BD Kalla, Raghu Sharma, Shanti Dhariwal, Lal Chand Kataria, Pramod Jain Bhaya, Parsadi Lal Meena, Vishvendra Singh, Harish Choudhary, Ramesh Chand Meena, Bhanwar Lal Meghwal, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, Udai Lal Anjana, Saleh Mohammad and Govind Singh Dotasara.
Mamta Bhupesh, Arjun Singh Bamaniya, Bhanwar Singh Bhati, Sukhram Vishnoi, Ashok Chandna, Tikaram Jully, Bhajanlal Jatav, Rajendra Singh Yadav and RLD's Subhash Garg are also likely to take oath, he said.
Rajasthan can have a total of 30 ministers, including the chief minister, and the Gehlot cabinet will have some vacancies left which will be filled later.
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