Rajasthan Cabinet expanded : 15 ministers inducted

The council of ministers in Rajasthan now has 19 cabinet ministers and 10 MoS, apart from chief minister. All sections satisfied with reshuffle, say Congress leaders

Rajasthan Cabinet expanded : 15 ministers inducted

NH Web Desk

Fifteen ministers were sworn in on Sunday in Rajasthan in a much-awaited expansion of the Ashok Gehlot ministry. The newly inducted ministers included 11 cabinet and four ministers of state.

Governor Kalraj Mishra administered the oath of office to the new ministers.

Three of the 11 cabinet ministers -- Mamta Bhupesh, Bhajan Lal Jatav and Tikaram Jully-- have been elevated from minister of state (MoS) to cabinet rank.

Others who were sworn in as cabinet ministers included Hemaram Chaudhary, Mahendrajit Singh Malviya, Ramlal Jat, Mahesh Joshi, Vishvendra Singh, Ramesh Meena, Govind Ram Meghwal and Shakuntala Rawat.

Zahida, Brijendra Singh Ola, Rajendra Gudha and Murari Lal Meena were sworn in as MoS.

Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena were sacked as cabinet ministers during a political crisis in the state last year.

Three ministers -- Govind Singh Dotasra, Harish Chaudhary and Raghu Sharma -- have been dropped and their resignations have been accepted by the Governor on the recommendation of the chief minister while three ministers -- Mamta Bhupesh, Tikaram Jully and Bhajan Lal Jatav-- will be elevated from MoS to cabinet rank.

While Dotasra, Chaudhary and Sharma resigned on Friday, other ministers resigned in a meeting of the council of ministers on Saturday.

The resignation of Sharma, Chaudhary and Dotasra was accepted as they hold party positions and the "one man, one post" formula has been applied in the state.

Sharma has been appointed as the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in charge for Gujarat and Chaudhary as the AICC in charge for Punjab. Dotasra is the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief.

The Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government will have a total of 30 ministers, including 18 who had resigned earlier. Rajasthan can have a maximum of 30 ministers including the chief minister.

Three ministers of state -- those who have been elevated to cabinet rank -- are from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community. Another SC member, former MP Govind Ram Meghwal, is a fresh face to be included in the refurbished cabinet.

Rajendra Singh Guda, one of the six MLAs who defected from the BSP to the Congress, has also been included as a minister of state.

No independent MLA has been given a ministerial berth, while some of them would be included as parliamentary secretaries.

Some former BSP legislators would also be included as parliamentary secretaries, sources said, adding that some senior MLAs would be made advisers to the chief minister.

After the Congress won by-polls held on two assembly seats recently, the tally of the ruling party has reached to 108 in the house of 200.

Increased women representation

Shakuntala Rawat and Zahida are set to take oath as new ministers while Mamta Bhupesh took oath as a cabinet minister, taking the total number of women in the Ashok Gehlot cabinet to three.

Fifteen out of the total 108 Congress MLAs in the House of 200 are women.

There was indeed a need to increase the participation of women in the cabinet. I am happy that two new faces will be inducted, Bhupesh told reporters.

“Congress party promotes women. Former PM Rajiv Gandhi had taken the initiative to empower women and women leadership,” she said.

Zahida said that it was a good sign that participation of women has increased.

Sachin Pilot happy with reshuffle

Congress leader and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot on Sunday said the Cabinet reshuffle initiated by the Ashok Gehlot government has sent a positive message across the state and denied any factionalism in the party.

Pilot, who was sacked as the deputy chief minister due to rebellion last year, said he is happy that the issues he had raised, including increasing the representation of Dalits in the Cabinet, have been addressed.

"Four Dalits have been included in the Cabinet. This is a big message. At the same time, the representation of tribals and women has been increased. This was a necessary step and the party and the government worked hard to take it forward," Pilot told reporters at his residence here ahead of the scheduled swearing-in of the new Cabinet.

Expressing satisfaction, he said the Cabinet reshuffle is a big sign that will benefit Congress in the future. He exuded confidence that the party will again form the government in the state in 2023.

This decision (reshuffle) has been taken in a very comprehensive, accurate and thoughtful manner. I am happy that the issues raised, including increasing representation of Dalits, have been addressed by the party leadership, Pilot said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 21 Nov 2021, 3:16 PM