New Delhi: After Punjab, the Congress high command is working out a reconciliation between the Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot factions in Rajasthan.
According to highly placed sources in the Congress, senior leaders KC Venugopal and Ajay Maken, who travelled to Jaipur on Saturday, are in the process of brokering a truce between the two warring camps.
As part of the terms of reconciliation, Sachin Pilot is likely to get a central role in Congress. This may involve him shifting base to Delhi.
Several members of the Pilot camp will get a place in the Ashok Gehlot-led government, with four to five MLAs landing key portfolios.
Along the lines of the central government, the fallout of the second Covid-19 wave has necessitated a change of leadership in the state’s health ministry. Sources said Health Minister Raghu Sharma may be axed due to negative public sentiment over the Rajasthan government’s handling of the pandemic.
Notably, there is the possibility of a major reshuffle in the Rajasthan Cabinet in the first or second week of August.
Sources said the Congress high command feels that the political turmoil in Rajasthan has done damage to the party's image and prospects, and therefore, it is very important to find a solution at the earliest.
After meeting ministers, MLAs and office bearers at the party office in Jaipur, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Ajay Maken said there is no conflict among the party leaders in Rajasthan.
"I can say that there is no conflict among the party leaders and they all have left the final decision about the Cabinet expansion to the party high command," he told reporters on Sunday.
Ajay Maken, however, did not disclose any date for the Cabinet expansion, though he will be returning to Jaipur on July 28.
Sachin Pilot, too, remained tight-lipped about the likely reshuffle of the Rajasthan Cabinet and organisational rejig, saying he would express his views in the party forum.
Pilot had attended the PCC meeting addressed by Ajay Maken and K C Venugopal. The two senior leaders had met with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday night to discuss the Cabinet expansion and political appointments.
A rift had emerged between the Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot-led factions of the Rajasthan Congress after the latter was miffed over having been sidelined in the current state government. The Pilot-led faction has been appealing for a cabinet expansion and is reportedly upset with the party high command over the continued delay of the same.
Last year, Sachin Pilot and 18 other Rajasthan Congress MLAs had rebelled against the leadership of CM Ashok Gehlot and left Rajasthan. They returned after an apparent truce was brought about by the Congress high command.
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