In a much-awaited Rajasthan cabinet reshuffle, as many as 15 ministers– 11 of cabinet rank and four ministers of state– were inducted into Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s cabinet on Sunday.
The ministers were administered the oath of office by Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra at Raj Bhavan. Eleven Cabinet ministers are Hemaram Choudhary, Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya, Ramlal Jat, Mahesh Joshi, Vishvendra Singh, Ramesh Meena, Mamta Bhupesh Bairwa, Bhajanlal Jatav, Tikaram Juli, Govind Ram Meghwal and Shakuntala Rawat while Zahida Khan, Brijendra Singh Ola, Rajendra Gudda and Murari Lal Meena sworn in as Ministers of State.
The cabinet reshuffle took place after a series of high-level meetings of Gehlot and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot with Congress high command in the national capital in the past few weeks.
Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra on Saturday shared a list of 15 MLAs who will take oath on Sunday and informed that three ministers of state will be elevated to cabinet rank.
Ahead of the reshuffle, all ministers of Rajasthan submitted their resignations to the Chief Minister on Saturday.
Notably, Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s “loyalists” MLAs Hemaram Choudhary, Murari Lal Meena, Zahida Khan, Rajendra Gudda, and Brijendra Singh Ola have now been accommodated into the Gehlot cabinet after the reshuffle.
Pilot expressed his satisfaction over the move and stated that the inclusion of four Dalit ministers in the Cabinet has sent out a positive message about the party and the state government.
He also asserted that “there are no factions in the party and the decision of Cabinet reshuffle has been taken together.”
The cabinet reshuffle was expected for a long time after Pilot had rebelled against Gehlot’s working style in July last year. Following the rebellion, Sachin Pilot was stripped off from the posts of state Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee Chief. His loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena were also removed from their ministerial posts.
After the Gandhi family’s intervention, Pilot agreed to work for the party. A committee was also set up under state Congress in-charge Ajay Maken to look into the issues raised by Pilot and his camp.
Also, this is the first cabinet reshuffle of the Gehlot government since it came to power in December 2018. Rajasthan will go for the Assembly polls in 2023.