Jaipur: The meeting of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot with Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday gave ample hints that a Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards in Rajasthan to accommodate the supporters of former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot.

The Cabinet reshuffle in Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government is set to implement “one leader-one post” policy, said an ANI report citing sources. 

“There will be `one leader, one post` formula in the cabinet reshuffle. Three senior members of the Gehlot Cabinet are likely to be removed from their post as they have already been given responsibilities in the party. Rajasthan PCC chief Govind Dotasra, AICC in-charge of Punjab Harish Chaudhry, AICC in-charge of Gujarat Raghu Sharma are likely to be out in the reshuffle. They themselves have requested to work for the party,” a top source was quoted by ANI as saying.

Earlier on Wednesday, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had a meeting at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi`s residence with party general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and KC Venugopal. AICC incharge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken was also present in the meeting.

After the meeting, Maken reportedly said that the political situation in Rajasthan expected cabinet expansion and the roadmap for 2023 Assembly elections in the state were discussed.

Presently, nine positions in the Gehlot cabinet are vacant. After dropping three ministers, a dozen new ministers will be inducted into the cabinet, but the real challenge lies in adjusting independent MLAs as the party lack majority in the state Assembly.  Insiders say that a few independent MLAs will be accommodated in the cabinet, but 4-5 MLAs from the Sachin Pilot camp would be given priority in the Cabinet reshuffle. 

The move is expected to subside the ongoing rift between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, but the party is yet to decide about the adjustment of Pilot in the organisation after he resigned from the post of Deputy Chief Minister and PCC chief. 

However, the issue of Chief Ministership will again surface as Pilot supporters are likely to be pushing for a leadership change as the former Deputy Chief Minister has earlier given hint that he doesn`t want to settle for less than that. 

According to reports, Sachin Pilot has also declined the party`s offer to move him out of the state at the AICC level as he does not want to move out of the state. Sachin Pilot has been meeting party leaders and on Wednesday met KC Venugopal ahead of the Gehlot–Priyanka Gandhi meeting. 

The Gandhi sibling wants the issue to be resolved as Priyanka Gandhi was instrumental in brokering peace when Pilot had revolted against Ashok Gehlot last year.

Ashok Gehlot has maintained that he will abide by the decision taken by the leadership after meeting with Sonia Gandhi. He is buoyed with the bypoll results and his camp is enthusiastic about the win in Dhariawad, which was a BJP seat since 2013.

The Congress has also retained the Vallabhnagar Assembly seat in the recently held by-polls. The BJP finished third in Dhariawad and fourth in Vallabhnagar.

(With Agency Inputs)

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