Punjab Tussle Resolved, Rajasthan Cabinet Expansion On Congress Agenda

Rajasthan Congress: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot have been involved in a standoff.

Rajasthan Congress crisis: Sachin Pilot had rebelled against Ashok Gehlot last year (File)

Jaipur/ New Delhi:

Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra called a meeting of 25 MLAs this morning to discuss state cabinet expansion, just days after the party settled the political tension and tussle among its two big leaders - Amarinder Singh and Navjot Sidhu - in Punjab.

In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot have been involved in a standoff.

KC Venugopal, general secretary (organisation), and Ajay Maken, general secretary in charge for Rajasthan, arrived in Jaipur on Saturday and subsequently met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

At the meeting called today, Sachin Pilot was present with his group of MLAs, demanding they be accommodated in the government.

"We're discussing the cabinet expansion, appointment of district and block-level chiefs of Congress and appointments in boards and corporations with our leaders. Everyone has said they would accept what leadership decides," Mr Maken was quoted saying by news agency ANI today after the meeting.

A decision on the cabinet expansion will be announced soon, Mr Maken said, adding he will be back later this month to take feedback from the MLAs.

Sachin Pilot, along with 18 MLAs, had rebelled against the leadership of Mr Gehlot last year.

Earlier this week, Mr Pilot had indicated that the Congress would take suitable steps soon to address issues raised by him.

He had said that he is in touch with the party high command over the issues raised by him and hoped that the required steps would be taken soon.

Last month, the MLAs from Pilot camp said that the party should fulfil the promises made to Pilot last month, following which the demand for cabinet expansion and political appointments gained momentum.

The state cabinet, which can have a maximum of 30 ministers, has 21 members in the council of ministers, including the Chief Minister, and nine slots are vacant.