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Congress high command to take final call on cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan

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Jaipur, Jul 25: A final decision on the issue of cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan has been left to the Congress high command and the expansion is likely to be held in the next few days, party sources said.

AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal and Ajay Maken late on Saturday night held discussions on the issues of cabinet reshuffle and political appointments with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at his residence.

Ashok Gehlot

The cabinet expansion is likely to be held in the next few days.

After discussions, the leaders have left the final decision about the reshuffle to the party high command, the sources said.

"The meeting lasted for nearly two-and-a-half hours during which discussion on cabinet reshuffle and political appointments were held. The final decision about the reshuffle has been left to the party high command," the sources told PTI.

At present, there are 21 members in the council of ministers, including chief minister, and nine slots are vacant.Rajasthan can have a maximum of 30 ministers.

After Punjab, the party high command has shifted its focus to Rajasthan, where demands for Cabinet expansion and political appointments have gained momentum after reports of resentment in the camp led by former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, who along with 18 MLAs had rebelled against the leadership of Gehlot last year.

Three days back, 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.

K C Venugopal, Ajay Maken to visit Rajasthan Congress office todayK C Venugopal, Ajay Maken to visit Rajasthan Congress office today

Pilot was sacked as the deputy chief minister and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief in July last year after he rebelled against the leadership of Gehlot. After a one-month-long political crisis, the party high command announced to form a three-member committee to look into the issues raised by him.

Last month, MLAs from the 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.

During the meeting on Saturday night, "It was also decided that political appointments in various boards and corporations should take place as soon as possible with discussion and consensus of elected public representatives, state office bearers and senior leaders of the party," the sources said.

It was also decided that the manifesto committee of AICC will hold a meeting to review the progress in the implementation of the party manifesto of Rajasthan.

The committee chairman will visit the state later this month, the sources added.

PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasra said that Venugopal and Maken will hold meeting with party MLAs here on Sunday.

He also clarified that no meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) has been convened on Sunday.

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