Ahead of the oath-taking of new ministers in the Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government, state leader Sachin Pilot said on Sunday that the steps by the Congress leadership had taken had sent a good message across the state.
“New ministers will be sworn in today. The step taken by the party and leadership after discussions is sending a positive message across the state. We had raised this issue time and again. I’m happy that party, high command and state Govt took a cognisance of it,” Pilot said at a press conference today.
Refuting reports of ‘groupism’ within the party, Pilot said that everyone had been consulted about the major reshuffle in the state cabinet. “Congress is working under leadership of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi & Priyanka Gandhi. Party workers will have to work together to bring forth misdeeds of BJP before people. There are no factions in party. The decisions (of cabinet reshuffle) have been taken together,” he said.
Speaking on his future role in the party, Pilot said that he served all the responsibilities with dedication in the last 20 years and will continue to serve the Congress. “I had met party president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, we discussed a lot of issues. I carried out all responsibilities given to me by the party in last 20 years, with dedication. In the time to come, I will work wherever the party sends me,” he said.
He also said that an increased Dalit representation in the state was a step in the right direction. “Four Dalit Ministers included in new cabinet. It’s a message that AICC, State Govt and party wants representation for Dalits, backward and poor. For a long time, there was no Dalit representation in our govt, it’s now been made up for and they’ve been included in good numbers,” he said.
The new Rajasthan cabinet will see 12 new faces, including five from the Sachin Pilot camp, in the reshuffle slated on Sunday. A total of 15 new ministers will take oath of office today, taking the total number of ministers in the Gehlot government to 30.
The clamour for Cabinet reshuffle had been growing for the last several months with the Pilot camp demanding to accommodate supporters of the state’s former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot’s supporters in the government. Apart from the Congress MLAs, independents who support the government and MLAs who defected from the BSP to Congress also have expectations from the reshuffle.