Raj Cabinet To Have 12 New Faces, 5 From Pilot Camp
Raipur: The new Rajasthan cabinet will see 12 new faces, including five from the Sachin Pilot camp, in the reshuffle slated on Sunday, sources said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has accepted the resignation of three cabinet ministers -- Raghu Sharma, Harish Chaudhary and Govind Singh Dotasra -- after all the 21 members of the Rajasthan cabinet resigned, they added.
The resignation of Sharma, Chaudhary and Dotasra was accepted as they hold party positions and the "one man, one post" formula has been applied in the state.
Sharma has been appointed as the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Gujarat, Chaudhary as the AICC in-charge for Punjab and Dotasra is the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief. The Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government will have a total of 30 ministers, including 18 who had resigned earlier.
Three ministers of state, all of whom are from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community, have been elevated to the cabinet rank, the sources said.
The new state cabinet will for the first time have four SC members, a step taken by the Congress after elevating a Dalit as the chief minister of Punjab.
There will be three ministers from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community, the sources said, adding that the cabinet will also feature three women -- a Muslim, one from the SC community and a Gujjar. Among the new ministers to take oath as cabinet ministers are Hemaram Chaudhary, Mahendrajit Singh Malviya, Ramlal Jat, Mahesh Joshi, Vishvendra Singh, Ramesh Meena, Mamta Bhupesh Bhairwa, Bhajanlal Jatav, Tikaram Juli, Govind Ram Meghwal and Shakuntala Rawat.
Those who will take oath as the new ministers of state on Sunday are Zahida, Brijendra Singh Ola, Rajendra Durha and Muralilal Meena.
Among those from the Sachin Pilot camp who have been included in the ministry are Vishvendra Singh, Ramesh Meena and Hemaram Chaudhary as cabinet ministers, besides Brijendra Ola and Murari Meena as ministers of state. Two of them -- Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena -- were sacked as cabinet ministers during a political crisis in the state last year.
The three SC ministers who have been elevated to the cabinet rank are Bhajanlal Jatav, Mamta Bhupesh Bhairwa and Tikaram Juli.
Another SC member, former MP Govind Ram Meghwal, is a fresh face to be included in the refurbished cabinet.
Rajinder Guda, a former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA who later joined the Congress, has also been included as a minister.
Dotasra shared the list of the 15 ministers -- 11 cabinet ministers and four ministers of state -- to be sworn-in on Sunday on Twitter.
The sources said no independent MLA has been given a ministerial berth, while some of them would be included as parliamentary secretaries.
Some former BSP legislators would also be included as parliamentary secretaries, they said, adding that some senior MLAs would be made advisers to the chief minister. After the recent bypolls, in which it snatched a seat from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling Congress has 102 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly.
Earlier, ahead of the cabinet reshuffle, all ministers in the Rajasthan government resigned during a meeting at Chief Minister Gehlot's residence in Jaipur on Saturday evening.
Dotasra, who along with Sharma and Chaudhary, had offered to resign in a letter to Gandhi, had moved a proposal at the beginning of the meeting following which all the ministers resigned.
Later in the evening, the chief minister went to the Raj Bhawan and held a meeting with Governor Kalraj Mishra in connection with the cabinet reshuffle.