Congress MLA Sachin Pilot on Friday arrived to meet Sonia Gandhi at her residence in Delhi, a day after the party chief met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot amid reports of a cabinet expansion to end the protracted power struggle between the duo in the state.
The former deputy CM had last year led a rebellion against Gehlot with a camp of MLAs loyal to him. The MLA, who had also been Congress state president the time, told India Today on Thursday that people who “toiled hard” to bring the party to power “should be given participation in the government”. The cabinet expansion in Rajasthan is long overdue, as many members of Sachin Pilot’s camp are looking for a place in it.
Gehlot had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday a day after meeting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at the residence of Rahul Gandhi, where party general secretaries Ajay Maken and K C Venugopal were also present. A major reshuffle in Rajasthan is on the cards in the next few days and various modalities are being worked out by adopting the formula of “one man, one post” while considering appointments in the cabinet, sources had earlier told News18.
After the meeting, Maken had told reporters, “We discussed the political situation in Rajasthan. We discussed a roadmap to ensure that the Congress returns to power in the next assembly elections.”
Pilot on Thursday had rejected reports of there being two factions in the Rajasthan Congress camp. “The talk regarding about being different factions in Congress is there in the media. Actually, all of us are working together,” he had told India Today.
He said work needed to be done as the elections in Rajasthan were only 22 months away. “We have to ensure that all this talk of Congress and BJP ruling in Rajasthan alternatively has to be done away with,” he said.
The Rajasthan power struggle assumes key significance as the Congress has made news with another in Punjab with the recent resignation of Capt Amarinder Singh from the CM post, after months-long acrimony with now Punjab party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Sources in Delhi had earlier told CNN-News18 that at least four MLAs from the Pilot faction are likely to be inducted as Cabinet Ministers in the Ashok Gehlot led cabinet soon. Including Gehlot, there are 21 members now in the Rajasthan ministry and up to nine more can be accommodated. Similarly, there are vacancies in party units at the district level.
With inputs from News18