The Congress-ruled Rajasthan is likely to see Cabinet expansion and political appointments next week, party sources said on Friday. The sources said AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge for Rajasthan are arriving here on Friday night to hold a discussion with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over Cabinet reshuffle, appointment of district heads of the party organisation and other political appointments. “Both the leaders are arriving in Jaipur tonight by road,” they said.
Venugopal is also a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan. The meeting of both the leaders with Gehlot is likely to be held at the chief minister’s residence late at night.
After Punjab, the party high command has shifted its focus to Rajasthan, where demands for Cabinet expansion and political appointments gained momentum after reports of resentment in the camp led by former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, who along with 18 MLAs had rebelled against the leadership of Gehlot last year. A couple of days ago, Pilot had indicated that the Congress would take suitable steps soon to address issues raised by him. He had said that he is in touch with the party high command over the issues raised by him and hoped that the required steps would be taken soon.
Pilot was sacked as the deputy chief minister and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief in July last year after he rebelled against the leadership of Gehlot after one-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 Pilot camp said that the party should fulfil 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 chief minister, and nine slots are vacant. Rajasthan can have a maximum of 30 ministers.