Congress leader Ajay Maken on Sunday said that there was no conflict among the party leaders about the Cabinet expansion and political appointments in Rajasthan, PTI reported.
“They all have left the final decision about the Cabinet expansion to the party high command,” Maken told reporters in Jaipur.
Maken, who is also the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee, arrived in Jaipur on Saturday along with party leader KC Venugopal. Their visit assumed significance amid the standoff between the Congress MLAs from the rival camps of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot.
In August, Pilot had staged a revolt against the Congress, pushing the Rajasthan government into a political crisis. The turmoil, however, was resolved. The Congress had formed a three-member panel comprising Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ahmed Patel and Venugopal to address Pilot’s concerns.
However, both Pilot and his loyalists have expressed resentment due to the delay in meeting the demands of the faction made last year.
At a meeting on Sunday, Pilot was present with his group of MLAs, NDTV reported. He again reiterated their demand to be accommodated in the state government.
Currently, there are 21 members in the council of ministers, including Gehlot, and nine spots are vacant. Rajasthan can have a maximum of 30 ministers.
Maken said he will be back in Jaipur on July 28 to hold discussions with MLAs on the appointment of district and block presidents of the party.
The move to resolve crisis in Rajasthan came days after the Congress sorted the tussle among Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his former Cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu. On July 18, the All India Congress Committee elevated Sidhu as state party chief along with four working presidents.
“The Punjab crisis has been a lesson for Congress,” sources told The Times of India. “It allowed the crisis to pester and blown up in its face before the elections. The Congress leadership wanted to set its house in order in Rajasthan to avoid a repeat of Punjab.