Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.

Politics and Nation

11,661.8575.5
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Ashok Gehlot sets stage for reshuffle of Rajasthan cabinet, PCC shake-up before local polls

This comes amid heightened suspense in Congress on whether he would pitch for a new PCC chief and a second deputy chief minister — an arrangement he had in his previous term.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 18, 2019, 11.23 PM IST
0Comments
PTI
Ashok-Gehlot-pti
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot
NEW DELHI: The dramatic manner in which Ashok Gehlot got six BSP MLAs to merge with Congress could be the beginning of a larger political play by the three-time Rajasthan chief minister. His move, Congress circles feel, may be the precursor for setting the stage for a reshuffle of the state cabinet and the PCC setup by citing the need for “political and social balancing acts” ahead of the upcoming municipal and panchayat polls in the state.

This comes amid heightened suspense in Congress on whether he would pitch for a new PCC chief and a second deputy chief minister — an arrangement he had in his previous term.

Currently, Gehlot’s in-house competitor Sachin Pilot holds the posts of PCC president and deputy chief minister. Alongside Pilot completing five years as PCC chief and ahead of the civic body elections, some state Congress leaders have sought a “fulltime PCC chief ”. Meanwhile, Pilot appears confident of carrying on with both posts.

With Chhattisgarh CM giving up the PCC president’s post, something that the Madhya Pradesh CM too now wants to do, the issue of “one man, one post” is being made a talking point in Rajasthan Congress too. Given that the two top posts are being held by leaders belonging to other backward castes (OBCs) –– Gehlot is from the Mali community and Pilot is a Gujjar — sources said there have been demand from some Congress quarters to give “due political representation” to other important castes such as Brahmins, Jats, Dalits and Meenas as well.

Talking to ET on Wednesday, the Rajasthan chief minister claimed that the merger of BSP MLAs — which helped the Congress government establish a clear majority —is “not linked” to any reshuffle plan.

“I am fortunate that there has been no horse-trading in Rajasthan despite the BJP’s efforts. All the six BSP MLAs merged with Congress without conditions or bargaining as they only wanted to ensure that there was political stability in Rajasthan”.

Underplaying BSP chief Mayawati’s angry criticism of her party MLAs merging with Congress, the chief minister said: “The merger of BSP MLAs is meant to give BJP, not Mayawatiji, a jolt as BJP has been plotting to destabilise Congress governments. When it comes to national political alliance, Congress, led by Soniaji, and earlier Rahulji, always showed a lot of respect to Mayawatiji”.

Some say Gehlot has hit three targets with his merger stroke — cemented the stability of his government (12 independent MLAs too have been backing the government by clubbing it to Gehlot’s leadership); jeopardised BJP’s reported toppling bids; and neutralised his internal critics. Both his friends and foes are closely watching Gehlot’s next moves.

Also Read

23 Rajasthan cabinet ministers likely to take oath on Monday

Rajasthan Cabinet formation: Ashok Gehlot bats for old ministers, Sachin Pilot for youth

Rajasthan Cabinet reshuffle likely today

Rajasthan cabinet approves increase in state's scheduled area

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times Business News App for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service