Cabinet rejig: Marwar region continues to dominate central politics
The Marwar region of Rajasthan comprises Barmer, Jalore, Jodhpur, Nagaur and Pali districts. MPs from three of these districts are now in the Union council of ministers.jaipur Updated: Sep 03, 2017 20:11 IST
Soon after the news trickled in that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be expanding his council of ministers, several names from Rajasthan started doing the rounds as probable candidates.
Media started “filtering” the names and it seemed as if Rajasthan would miss the bus in what has been touted as the last reshuffle of the Union Cabinet before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
It was only late Saturday night when it became clear that Jodhpur MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was making the cut into the elite club. His inclusion in Team Modi has underlined the dominance of Marwar in central politics.
The Marwar region of Rajasthan comprises Barmer, Jalore, Jodhpur, Nagaur and Pali districts. MPs from three of these districts – PP Choudhary from Pali, CR Chaudhary from Nagaur and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Jodhpur – are now in the Union council of ministers.
Rajasthan had sent 25 MPs to the Lok Sabha in 2014. Five of them are ministers in Team Modi. Apart from the Marwar politicians, Jaipur (Rural) MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Bikaner MP Arjun Ram Meghwal are in the council of ministers. However, there are no cabinet ministers from the state.
Marwar has always had a better share in the Union cabinet. Jaswant Singh of Barmer has been, by far, the tallest leader from Marwar. He held the portfolios of finance, defence and external affairs in the three Atal Bihari Vajpayee governments. He has been a member of the Rajya Sabha for five terms and of Lok Sabha four times. In 2014, he contested as an independent candidate after BJP chose Col Sona Ram Chaudhary over him from Barmer-Jaisalmer LS constituency.
In the Rajiv Gandhi government, Ram Niwas Mirdha, who belonged to Nagaur, and won Lok Sabha election from Barmer in 1991, was cabinet minister of water resources, external affairs and communications.
Nathuram Mirdha, who was the only Congress MP to win in 1977 post Emergency in north India, was a minister in the VP Singh government. And Kalyan Singh Kalvi, MP from Barmer, was a cabinet minister in 1991.
Rajasthan had the best share of union ministers in UPA-II when the state had three cabinet – CP Joshi, Girija Vyas and Chandresh Kumari – and two ministers of state with independent charge – Jitendra Singh and Sachin Pilot.
Incidentally in the state politics, Mewar — comprising Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand and Bhilwara — has given the most chief ministers.