Congress Pokes Ashok Gehlot To Include Sachin Pilot Loyalists In Ministry

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Ashok Gehlot has been delaying cabinet reshuffles for more than a year.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met party central leaders in Delhi today to discuss the long-running unresolved issue of giving seats to supporters of Sachin Pilot in the state cabinet. Sources said the Congress High Command is keen that the reshuffle would take place immediately and that Mr Pilot’s supporters would be accommodated.

Sources said today’s talks involved cabinet reshuffles and appointments to state corporations, which Mr Gehlot has been delaying for more than a year.

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The placement of Mr Pilot’s supporters in the cabinet was seen as part of Priyanka Gandhi Bhadra’s peace formula last year when the pilot team was on the battlefield.

The month-long uprising brought the Ashok Gehlot government to the brink of collapse.

Mr Pilot – seen behind the party’s revival in Rajasthan – was a rival to the chief minister. But after the party’s victory in the 2018 assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi agreed to take over as Ashok Gehlot’s deputy.

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Since then, the conflict between the two has continued.

Things came to a head last year when Mr Pilot revolted against 18 loyalists, camping in Delhi with his supporters who insisted on a bigger role for him in government.

The bitter dispute was resolved more than a month later through his meetings with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Bhadra.

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In September this year, Mr. Pilot – still interested in the top post in Rajasthan – had another couple meeting with young Gandhians who were seen as reluctant to change leadership in the state. It is learned that Gandhi wants to take charge of Gujarat before the state elections next year. There is no indication that Mr. Pilot is ready for work.

However, at the 45-minute meeting, it was decided that the Rajasthan cabinet would be expanded to include a number of Mr Pilot’s loyalists.

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