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Cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan likely during Navratras

Non-performing ministers may be shifted to insignificant departments or dropped, while new faces could be included

jaipur Updated: Mar 17, 2018 21:17 IST
Rajasthan News
The talks of cabinet reshuffle began after chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s visit to Delhi and subsequent meeting with RSS leaders in Jaipur as well as a meeting of the BJP cabinet ministers and organisation leaders on Friday.(File/PTI)

The cabinet reshuffle which is likely during the Navratras that begin from Sunday will see non-performing ministers being shunted to insignificant departments or being dropped, while new names could find their way in, say sources.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s visit to Delhi and subsequent meeting with RSS leaders at the RSS headquarters here as well as a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cabinet ministers and organisation leaders at the state party office on Friday, fuelled rumours of a cabinet reshuffle.

“The cabinet reshuffle will happen during or after Navratras,” a senior BJP leader said at a media gathering on Saturday, requesting not to be named.

After the loss in the recent bypolls, the BJP is planning changes at the party and organisation level to overcome anti-incumbency. It is also talking to rebel BJP leaders to pacify them, while some Congress leaders too could be inducted into the party. Recently, Kirori Lal Meena, a heavyweight leader from the Meena community, rejoined the BJP, along with two other MLAs of his National People’s Party (NPP).

The cabinet has 30 ministers, the maximum it can accommodate as per the norms that cap the total number of ministers, including the chief minister, in a state to 15% of the total number of members of the legislative assembly.

There is a buzz that health minister Kalicharan Saraf is likely to be shifted to some other ministry. The state government has come in for a lot of flak for its handling of the medicos strike and over rising swine flu cases.

Party sources say that after the bypoll loss in Alwar Lok Sabha constituency, state labour minister Jaswant Yadav and state general administration department minister Hem Singh Badhana could be axed. Prahlad Gunjal, a Gujjar leader from Kota, could be brought into the cabinet. Some ministers from Ajmer too may be dropped.

A Rajput community minister could be made deputy chief minister to pacify the community that is upset after encounter of gangster Anandpal Singh. Sources say state BJP president Ashok Parnami, who is considered close to the CM, is likely to be inducted into the cabinet.

Names of rebel BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari and senior party leader Rao Rajendra SIngh, Kirori Meena’s wife Golma Devi and former NPP MLA Geeta Verma are also doing the rounds.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 21:17 IST