Six BSP MLAs including Rajendra Guda had merged with Congress last year and are crucial to Ashok Gehlot's strength in the assembly.
The crisis within the Rajasthan unit of the Congress party has yet again taken centrestage with Sachin Pilot camping in Delhi and some former BSP MLAs who joined the Congress openly expressing their wish for a cabinet berth. Pilot is in Delhi to press for his demands with the Congress leadership. Sachin Pilot had revolted against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in July 2020 and was placated by the party high command after a promise that their demands would be suitably fulfilled. It has been around a year and the issues flagged by Pilot are yet to be resolved.
According to reports, Pilot wants 6-7 ministerial posts for MLAs loyal to him. On the other hand, the BSP MLAs are also expecting a reward for supporting Congress. “Nearly a year ago, 19 MLAs (Sachin pilot camp) had left Congress. Had it not been us (10 independents and 6 BSP MLAs), the Rajasthan government would’ve been preparing for its 1st death anniversary. Why doesn’t high command understand it? They didn’t have a majority and we saved the Congress government,” said former BSP and now Congress MLA Rajendra Guda.
Six BSP MLAs including Rajendra Guda had merged with Congress last year and are crucial to Ashok Gehlot’s strength in the assembly. “There are issues in cabinet expansion, but it should be done now. It’s been delayed for long. Whenever it’s suitable for Rajasthan CM and circumstances are right, he will take a decision,” said another former BSP MLA Sandeep Yadav.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma said that there are many contenders for the ministerial berths. “There is a proverb – ‘Ek Anar, Sau Bimar’. But there are 25 ‘bimar’ (aspirants) for ministerial berths,” said Bhanwar Lal Sharma.
He said that he too wanted to become CM but suppressed his desire. “Nothing is going to happen for the next 2 months because CM is not meeting people in-person. I also wanted to become CM but sometimes we’ve to suppress our desires. I’m with Congress party and Sachin Pilot and CM Ashok Gehlot are my leaders,” said Sharma. He said that senior leaders must be given their due respect.
Reports claimed that a cabinet expansion is likely in Rajasthan which will fulfil some of the demands raised by Sachin Pilot. According to reports, Ashok Gehlot is conducting regular meetings with MLAs to placate the situation. It’s being said that Gehlot can have nine more vacancies in his cabinet.
On the other hand, Congress leader Ajay Maken along with some senior leaders are holding talks with various camps to resolve their grievances.