Rajasthan cabinet expansion, political appointments after May, says Congress leader Ajay Maken

The wait of MLAs and Congress party workers for the long-awaited political appointments and cabinet expansion has got longer. Ajay Maken, Congress in-charge for Rajasthan, has ruled out any appointments till May.

He said the state government has already called the Budget session of the assembly and in view of this, the cabinet expansion will not take place now.

Talking to reporters at the Congress office in Jaipur, Maken said that political appointments will be done after the by-polls in the state and the assembly elections in five states.

Maken however did say that about 30,000 district-level political appointments will be made this month.

Maken held a two-hour long meeting with chief minister Ashok Gehlot. He also met assembly speaker Dr CP Joshi and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot. In his interaction with several MLAs at the CM’s residence, Maken took feedback about the results of the local elections and the party’s performance. He said Congress has won more seats than the BJP which shows that people have faith in the government.

Maken also discussed the party’s preparations for the four upcoming by-polls in Sujangarh, Sarada, Vallabhnagar and Rajsamand due to the death of the sitting MLAs. The election commission is yet to announce the election schedule.

Maken’s statements have put a stop to all speculation regarding appointments and cabinet reshuffle.

The political appointments and cabinet expansion have been hanging fire since a long time with the party putting them off due to the coronavirus pandemic and local elections. Congress MLAs, six BSP MLAs who joined Congress and independents are all eyeing a share in power and are getting restless as the wait gets longer.

Party sources say that chief minister Gehlot is not in favour of a cabinet expansion and wants to put it off till June while former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot is pushing for appointments at the earliest.

Pilot, who rebelled against Gehlot’s leadership last year, is seeking a fair share for his supporters in the appointments to be made. Sources say the party high command wants to end the stand-off and Maken is being sent to Rajasthan to try and convince the chief minister to go in for political appointments and a small cabinet expansion.

Maken had announced in December last year that political appointments would be made in the state by January 31. But with the deadline having passed and restlessness among party MLAs growing,

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