Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is planning for a cabinet enlargement and political appointments now that bypolls are finished. Gehlot will travel to Delhi early next week to discuss the situation with the party’s senior command, according to authorities.
After the publication of the dates for the assembly bypolls in late October, cabinet reshuffles and appointments took a backseat. But now that the polls have closed and Congress has won both seats, Gehlot’s attention is turning to long-awaited nominations and a cabinet enlargement.
Rajasthan has 21 ministries in all, including the chief minister. With 200 assembly constituencies, the state can only appoint 30 ministers.
“The CM has done his study for the appointments and expansion,” a senior leader acquainted with the situation said. “Now a final conversation will be done and the announcements will be made.” Gehlot will travel to Delhi in the next two or three days, and the list will be available upon his return.”
According to him, a cabinet enlargement with the accession of roughly 8-9 MLAs is expected, with a little reshuffle in the current ministry. The AICC has appointed health minister Raghu Sharma and revenue minister Harish Choudhary as in-charge of Gujarat and Punjab, sparking speculation that they may be removed from the government.
The leader went on to say that following the expansion, long-awaited appointments, particularly at the state level, would be announced. The chairperson will be assigned to more than 50 boards and commissions. “The announcements of the appointments would begin after the expansion,” he stated.
Following the Congress Working Committee meeting on October 16, Gehlot met with senior Congresswoman Priyanka Gandhi, AICC General Secretary Ajay Maken, and KC Venugopal at Rahul Gandhi’s residence to discuss a cabinet reshuffle.
Maken, who is in charge of Rajasthan, has already acknowledged that the expansion and organisational reorganisation roadmap has been prepared and has only been postponed due to Gehlot’s illness.