Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot along with the AICC general secretary Ajay Maken on Wednesday held a meeting with Cabinet ministers in Jaipur and discussed the four Assembly bypolls due in the state.
The meeting was crucial as CM Gehlot wanted all the ministers to take an active part in campaigning in the four constituencies where the bye-elections are due. It was a strategic meeting to ensure that the party retains the three seats won by the Congress candidates and gain the fourth seat of Rajsamand that was won by the BJP.
The seats got vacated following the demise of Congress MLAs Kailash Trivedi (Sahara), Master Bhanwar Lal Meghwal (Sujangarh-SC) and Gajendra Singh Shaktawat (Vallabhnagar) and Kiran Maheshwari (Rajsamand) of BJP.
Mini referendum on Gehlot government
During the recent civic poll in the state, the BJP gave a stiff fight to the Congress, with the saffron party actively campaigning in the four constituencies. The BJP has been claiming that the bye-elections would be a mini referendum on the working of the Gehlot government.
Both Gehlot and Maken urged the ministers that they should campaign in these constituencies and tell the electorates about the good work being done by the government to ensure Congress’ victory. The ministers have been asked to activate the party workers in these constituencies at the block level and involve them in the campaigning.
Maken also held a separate meeting with PCC president Govind Singh Dotasara and discussed with him the issue of various political appointments. It was agreed upon by the two leaders that the members of the PCC executive body would submit the names of the persons of their choice for the various political appointments in Rajasthan.
Cabinet expansion likely in March
Maken during his previous visit to Jaipur had said that all the political appointments will be completed by January 31, but he took a U-turn and said such political appointments will have to wait as the four bye-elections are more crucial for the party than political appointments.
Maken hinted that the political appointments and also the expansion of the cabinet would be delayed. Political observers in Rajasthan feel that the political appointments and the expansion of the cabinet will not take place till the dispute between Gehlot and Sachin Pilot is resolved. Thus, as the Vidhan Sabha session which is due from February 10 would be on and the state budget would be presented, the expansion of the Cabinet and the political appointments would be done only in the month of March.
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