Cabinet reshuffle sends positive message across Rajasthan:Pilot

Congress senior leader Sachin Pilot addresses the press conference ahead the expansion of Rajasthan cabinet ministry, at his residence in Jaipur.
Congress senior leader Sachin Pilot addresses the press conference ahead the expansion of Rajasthan cabinet ministry, at his residence in Jaipur.

JAIPUR, Nov 21: Congress leader and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot on Sunday said the Cabinet reshuffle initiated by the Ashok Gehlot government has sent a positive message across the state and denied any factionalism in the party.
Pilot, who was sacked as the deputy chief minister due to rebellion last year, said he is happy that the issues he had raised, including increasing the representation of Dalits in the Cabinet, have been addressed.
“Four Dalits have been included in the Cabinet. This is a big message. At the same time, the representation of tribals and women has been increased. This was a necessary step and the party and the government worked hard to take it forward,” Pilot told reporters at his residence here ahead of the scheduled swearing-in of the new Cabinet.
Expressing satisfaction, he said the Cabinet reshuffle is a “big sign” that will benefit the Congress in the future. He exuded confidence that the party will again form the government in the state in 2023.
“This decision (reshuffle) has been taken in a very comprehensive, accurate and thoughtful manner. I am happy that the issues raised, including increasing representation of Dalits, have been addressed by the party leadership,” Pilot said.
“It has been tried that no one should be left out and the decision has been made keeping in view every section as well as from the regional point of view. The representation of SC and women has increased manifold. This in itself is very important which we all should welcome,” he said.
He said increasing women’s percentage in the Cabinet could be seen as a reflection of what Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had said earlier that 40 percent tickets would be given to women candidates in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
“The work has been done to give representation, participation in proper proportion, to the section which has always stood with the Congress. For this, I thank Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Ajay Maken, Ashok Gehlot and Govind Singh Dotasra. They discussed with all the leaders and such a big reshuffle has been done in a very comprehensive approach and after taking feedback from all the leaders and workers,” Pilot said.
He said the committee which was formed last year to look into the issues raised by him has “delivered the first result” and more positive steps are expected when political appointments will take place.
When asked about members from his group who have been given a place in the Cabinet, Pilot said there was no factionalism in the party and all will work unitedly to win the 2023 Assembly elections.
“There is only one faction — the faction of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and we all are the members. It will be our endeavour to move forward collectively and win the next assembly elections,” he said.
He said the partymen are working under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.
Everyone collectively fought the 2018 assembly elections under the leadership of these leaders and the party came to power in the state winning 100 out of 200 seats.
Pilot said that under the Cabinet reshuffle, the new government structure has been prepared keeping in view the regional and the social balance, which will benefit the Congress. (PTI)
On a question about his role in the new setup, Pilot said that he will follow what the party decides for him.
“I have always talked about principles, SC/STs, OBCs and workers. My aim is to bring the party to power again in Rajasthan,” he said.
Pilot and 18 MLAs supporting him had taken a rebellious stand against the leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot last year, following which the Congress had formed a three-member committee to look into the issues raised by the leader.
The demand for cabinet reshuffle and political appointments were being raised for the last several months by the Pilot camp. (PTI)