Ashok Gehlot meets Rahul Gandhi in Delhi; cabinet expansion, tiff with Pilot on agenda

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Apart from a reshuffle, the meeting will also discuss the Gehlot-Pilot controversy. Sachin Pilot’s brief rebellion had left the Congress party rattled in 2020.

Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot

Image: PTI

Amid talks of a cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot huddled with the top brass of the Congress party at Rahul Gandhi‘s residence in Delhi on Saturday. The crucial meeting at Rahul Gandhi’s residence witnessed party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and senior leaders such as Ajay Maken and KC Venugopal in attendance. 

Sources have revealed that the top brass is expected to discuss the long-pending cabinet reshuffle and political appointments in the state. Notably, the Sachin Pilot camp has been demanding a cabinet reshuffle for a long time. Along with his MLAs, MLAs who jumped ship from BSP and those of Gehlot’s camp have also been raising the demand for cabinet expansion and political appointments in Rajasthan, sources have revealed. While state in-charge Ajay Maken arrived at certain deadlines, nothing towards the expansion materialised. 

Gehlot-Pilot contoversy on agenda 

Apart from a cabinet rejig, the meeting will also discuss the Gehlot-Pilot controversy, as per sources. Sachin Pilot’s brief rebellion had left the Congress party rattled in 2020. The leader had departed to Delhi with some of his supporting legislators on July 11, 2020. He had alleged ‘step-motherly’ treatment being meted out to his faction. Following his departure, the Congress Legislative Party in Rajasthan passed a resolution unanimously supporting the state government led by Ashok Gehlot after which Pilot was sacked as the Deputy CM and the RPCC chief. After a series of hectic parlays, largely held by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Pilot reconciled with Congress. A decision was taken to form the three-member committee to address his grievances.

However, almost a year later, unease in the Pilot camp returned in May 2021 with the resignation of veteran MLA Hemaram Choudhary which shocked all. Since then there has been uncertainty looming large over the future leadership of the grand-old-party in Rajasthan.

Ashok Gehlot arrived in Delhi on October 16 to attend the meeting of Congress Working Committee (CWC). While he is not a member of the Congress Working Committee, CMs of Congress-ruled states were invited to attend the meet. This is his second visit to Delhi this year, after February 27.

With Agency Inputs

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