JAIPUR: After the Sachin Pilot camp, the MLAs who defected from the BSP to the ruling Congress are also raising voice for cabinet expansion and political appointments, adding to the party’s Rajasthan conundrum.
Karauli MLA Lakhan Singh said cabinet expansion should take place as it would improve the efficiency of the government, but Udaipurwati MLA Rajendra Singh Gudha did not mince words as he reminded the Asok Gehlot government that it was “saved” because of the six MLAs who merged their legislative party with the Congress and the independents.
Three of the six MLAs- Lakhan Singh, Rajendra Gudha and Sandeep Yadav- met at the residence of Yadav in Jaipur on Monday.
“Nine cabinet berths are vacant in the state. Some departments are completely dependent on government officials, and they will function in a better way if they get ministers. I hope the cabinet expansion will happen soon,” Lakhan Singh said.
Rajendra Singh Gudha claimed that 19 Congress MLAs had “deserted” the government last year, a reference to the virtual revolt by Sachin Pilot loyalists.
“If we six MLAs, who came from BSP, and 10 independents, had not been there, then by now there would have been preparations of the first death anniversary of the Congress government,” he told reporters.
On cabinet expansion, Gudha said it is the prerogative of the chief minister.
Later in the day, Lakhan Singh, Rajendra Gudha went to the residence of Sandeep Kumar Yadav.
“It was a general meeting. They wished me birthday,” Yadav, who is MLA from Tijara (Alwar), said.
Lakhan Singh, Rajendra Gudha, Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Jogendra Awana won the assembly elections in 2018 as BSP candidates and in September 2019, the entire group joined the Congress.
They supported the Ashok Gehlot camp last year after the rebellion by former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot and 18 other MLAs against the leadership of chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
The Pilot camp has started mounting pressure on the government and the party high command for cabinet expansion and political appointments, saying the issues raised by him last year have not been resolved yet.