Maken continues meetings with Rajasthan Cong. MLAs

Interactions come ahead of possible cabinet reshuffle amid Gehlot-Pilot standoff

Ajay Maken, the All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Rajasthan, continued his interactions with the Congress MLAs for the second day here on Thursday to get their feedback on the State government’s performance. Mr. Maken also sought their views on the changes needed to ensure the ruling party’s victory in the next Assembly elections.

Mr. Maken held one-on-one discussions with 52 legislators from 20 districts in the State Assembly building. The Tonk district was covered through the interaction with the MLAs representing Deoli-Uniara and Niwai constituencies, in the absence of Tonk MLA and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot.

Mr. Pilot had met Mr. Maken in New Delhi on Tuesday, a day before his visit to Jaipur, and discussed the party’s roadmap for the State. Earlier, Mr. Maken met 66 MLAs, including the Independents supporting the Congress, on Wednesday.

The sources in Congress said several MLAs had expressed dissatisfaction with some ministers, accusing them of being inaccessible and not resolving people’s grievances. Some legislators, especially those belonging to the Pilot camp, also raised the issue of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities not being adequately represented in the State Cabinet.

There were speculations that the State Cabinet might be reshuffled and expanded early next month. This is likely to be followed by appointments to various boards and corporations as well as nominations to the block and district units of the ruling party.

Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi told reporters outside the Assembly that the exercise to get the views of MLAs on different aspects of governance would strengthen the ruling party. “It is a tradition in Congress to keep taking such feedback. Every MLA has a right to convey his or her opinion to the top leadership in the party,” he said.

Later in the evening, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot hosted a dinner for Mr. Maken and the MLAs at his official residence.

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