Sachin Pilot Met Rahul Gandhi To Discuss Rajasthan Cabinet Reshuffle: Reports
According to reports, Pilot’s reinstatement in Rajasthan was one of the key issues discussed during the meeting.
Former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot met Congress leader and former party chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday, 17 September, to discuss the political situation in Rajasthan, the reshuffle in the current Ashok Gehlot government and the goals of the party for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, multiple reports suggested.
The meeting occurred a day before the Congress high command asked the then Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to resign.
Pilot, who lost both his posts of deputy CM and Rajasthan Congress president after rebelling against Gehlot, has repeatedly placed demands of a cabinet reshuffle before the party high command. He also wants “inclusion of some of the MLAs loyal to him and political appointments to various boards and corporations in the state”, reported The Indian Express.
According to Hindustan Times, Pilot’s reinstatement in Rajasthan was one of the key issues discussed during the meeting.
'No Major Change in Rajasthan Govt As of Now'
However, a senior party leader said that no major change in the Rajasthan government can be expected as of now. “The party is now fully focused on the forthcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand,” a senior leader was quoted as saying by the daily.
Another leader said the reshuffles in various states need to be seen as part of the “Congress’ preparations for the next general election”.
“In Rahul Gandhi’s scheme of things, reshuffles in states will be done primarily to meet larger objectives in the 2024 elections. So, if any change happens and Pilot returns to the Rajasthan government, it has to be seen in the context of the Congress’ preparations for the next general election,” said another senior leader.
“In this context”, a senior Congress functionary said, “Pilot has explained in the meeting why he needs to go back to Rajasthan. The two leaders also discussed that more than a year would be required for Pilot to work to prepare for the 2024 elections in the state.”
Pilot Reportedly Assured of a Cabinet Reshuffle Soon
Ajay Maken, the AICC general secretary in charge of Rajasthan, was reported to have made several trips to Rajasthan and taken the views of all MLAs. However, despite his repeated visits, the shuffle has not taken place.
The Indian Express reported that Pilot has been assured that a Cabinet reshuffle would soon take place. After the central leadership’s decisive action in Punjab, the Rajasthan government, too, expects a similar intervention.
'Gehlot Enjoys the Support of Majority of the MLAs'
However, senior Congress leaders said the situation in Rajasthan and even Chattisgarh was different to the one in Punjab, as Rajasthan CM Gehlot and Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel enjoy the support of the majority of the MLAs.
“Gehlot enjoys the support of more than 100 MLAs in the state,” a state cabinet minister, close to Gehlot, was quoted by Hindustan Times.
Rival factions in both states are hoping the central leadership will pressure them to agree and comply. However, Gehlot has so far not been pressured by the Cabinet reshuffle issue.
Chhattisgarh's TS Singh Deo Currently in Delhi on a 'Personal Visit'
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo, who is currently in Delhi on a 'personal visit', is also hoping for a change in the state. He wants the high command to get Baghel to honour their unwritten agreement of rotational chief ministership, which was purportedly reached upon after the party won the Assembly elections in late 2018.
(With Inputs of The Indian Express and Hindustan Times)
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