Two parliamentarians from Rajasthan may find a place in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet which is likely to have a massive rejig on Sunday.
However, there are three probables in the race for the cabinet berth. They are Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, a Rajput MP from Jodhpur, Sanwar Lal Jat from Ajmer and Col. Sona Ram Choudhary from Barmer, according to Bharatiya Janata Party insiders, who are confident that at least one Rajput and one Jat leader will make it to Modi’s new cabinet.
They, however, are not decisive as to who from the two Jat stalwarts will have the final go for both the MPs have their respective reckonings in the Central leadership. But, the party sources have no doubts about the selection of a Rajput leader and first-time MP from Jodhpur Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Shekhawat has had a strong background as an Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad leader.
Jat MP Sanwar Lal, who defeated Congress’ Sachin Pilot from Ajmer by over one lakh votes, is a strong contender too as he enjoys Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s backing, sources say.
They don’t deny that former Congress leader Col. Sona Ram Choudhary, who won from the Barmer seat on the BJP ticket, has more wins and clout to get him the cabinet berth.
Sona Ram got the BJP ticket from Barmer after the party denied it to former external affairs minister and BJP leader Jaswant Singh. Singh fought as an independent and lost to Sona Ram during the last Lok Sabha elections, convincing the central leadership about Ram’s influence as a ‘dependable’ leader. Ram has represented Barmer in Lok Sabha thrice before-- in 1996, 1999 and 2004.
If Choudhary is chosen over Sanwar Lal Jat, both the new ministers will be from the Marwar region.
When contacted Shekhawat and Choudhary denied that they have had any call from the Centre as yet. Sanwar Lal Jat couldn't be contacted.
So far, there is only one MP from Rajasthan in Modi council of ministers . He is Nihalchand Chauhan, who won from Ganganagar and made minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers. Nihalchand is also known as Nihalchand Meghwal, and had recently been in news for an old rape case.