In Midnight Move, Rajasthan Cabinet Divvied Up After Rahul Gandhi Meet

In Midnight Move, Rajasthan Cabinet Divvied Up After Rahul Gandhi Meet

JAIPUR: Ministries in Rajasthan were announced around 2:30 am on Wednesday after Congress president Rahul Gandhi stepped in to resolve a reported tussle between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot over key portfolios like home and finance.

Ashok Gehlot has kept nine departments including the finance and home. He also has excise, planning, department of personnel, general administration department and information technology.

Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot gets Public works, Rural development, Panchayati Raj and Science and Technology and statistics.

After its victory in the state, the Congress' big two in Rajasthan had also fought for the top post until Rahul Gandhi held marathon consultations. Mr Gehlot, a two-time chief minister, won out and Mr Pilot got to keep the post of Rajasthan Congress chief besides taking over as deputy chief minister.

The Congress also picked ministers with an eye on the 2019 national polls due by May, giving representation to powerful caste groups and also including the lone lawmaker of an ally. Twenty-three ministers were sworn in on Monday, a week after Chief Minister Gehlot and Mr Pilot took charge.

But the allocation of ministries was held up for days, reportedly because of disagreements between the top two. The Chief Minister and Mr Pilot held meetings with Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Wednesday.

As for the other ministers, BD Kalla has been given the energy, public health engineering, ground water, art, culture and archeology departments. Shanti Dhariwal will be in charge of urban development and housing, law and parliamentary affairs. Parsadi Lal has been assigned the industry ministry and Master Bhanwar Lal Meghwal has social justice and empowerment.

The agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries departments are with Lal Chand Kataria while the health, information and public relations departments are with Raghu Sharma. Pramod Bhaya is mines minister. Vishvendra Singh has the tourism department.

Harish Chaudhary has been assigned revenue and Ramesh Chand Meena has been given food and civil supplies. Anjana Udailal has been made minister for cooperatives and the Indira Gandhi canal project department. Pratap Singh has transport and soldier welfare. Shale Mohammad has been given the portfolio of minority affairs and waqf.