Ex-Rajasthan Deputy CM may be given some state charge; CM Gehlot may carry out cabinet reshuffle during Navratri.


New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is likely to carry out the cabinet reshuffle just at the beginning of the Navratra (end of Pitrapaksha) next month. He will also complete all the political appointments which are pending for a long time now.

Sources told The Sunday Guardian that former Dy CM Sachin Pilot may be given charge of either Punjab, Gujarat or Bengal. There is no one in charge of Gujarat and Bengal as of now. Harish Rawat may be relieved of Punjab charge and will be asked to focus on Uttarakhand.

Former Rajasthan PCC chief Sachin Pilot is understood to be able to coordinate well with Punjab PCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu. Around a half-hour long meeting between Rahul Gandhi and Sachin Pilot on Friday assumes significance from this point of view. Sachin’s meeting with Rahul Gandhi could take place after a long gap. According to sources, Rahul Gandhi did not meet any Rajasthan leader till 17 September. Sachin Pilot is the only leader from Rajasthan whom Rahul Gandhi has met this month.

Observers believe that this meeting has put to rest the speculation which was going on about Rajasthan after the change of guard in Punjab. There was a lot of speculation about the possibility of leadership change in the desert state. Sensing the problem, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot got active soon after recovery and started taking decisions keeping in mind the interest of all the legislators. MLAs also expressed trust in him. Gehlot also assured them that he will soon carry out the much-awaited cabinet reshuffle and make pending political appointments. Moreover, district and block executives will also be declared. Rajasthan in charge, Ajay Maken has already said that these decisions were delayed due to sickness of Gehlot. Maken may give final shape to the appointments during his visit to Rajasthan this month end. Similarly, Gehlot may meet Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the first week of October to seek their stamp of approval for the cabinet reshuffle. Gehlot will also start his state-wide visit in October.

In fact, even after a futile attempt to topple the Gehlot government, a faction of the party is still in action to destabilise the regime. Opposition also helps the faction in its agenda. As a result, reports keep appearing about the government being in crisis from time to time. Aware of such an agenda, the Gandhis are said to be unhappy with those involved in all this. Even Rahul Gandhi has accepted that the Congress government would have fallen if Gehlot were not there as CM.

There is no doubt that state Congress governments are seen as regimes of the Gandhi family. Any attempt to destabilise them amounts to betraying the Gandhis. Punjab’s happening was different from what was there in Rajasthan. Sidhu did not indulge in any activity aimed at dislodging the Congress government in Punjab. All that he did was he won the confidence of the Gandhi family and challenged Amarinder Singh. Sidhu targeted PM Modi openly and pleased the Gandhis. As a reward, he was given the top organisational post in Punjab. Amarinder made a mistake by challenging the Gandhi family. So, he lost the top job.

On the contrary, Rajasthan CM Gehlot is trusted by the Gandhi family. But reports are circulated that his government is in trouble and the Sachin camp has become active. Moreover, the unfounded reports about certain Rajasthan leaders’ meetings with high command are also circulated. The leaders, who are struggling to save their image in UP, give statements aimed at creating confusion, whereas the high command wants to fight elections unitedly. According to sources close to high command, there will be no change of guard in Rajasthan for now. Rather, all leaders will together try to derive political advantage from the ‘infighting’ of BJP. Observers believe that the BJP’s internal war will intensify even as the elections draw nearer in Rajasthan. A big BJP camp is against former CM Vasundhara Raje, and this is going against the BJP. If Congress fights unitedly in the next polls, then it might make a comeback in the desert state.