The Congress on Monday inducted 23 ministers in the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan, PTI reported. Governor Kalyan Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 13 Cabinet ministers and 10 ministers of state at an event held in the Raj Bhavan. Rashtriya Lok Dal legislator Subhash Garg, a Congress ally, was among those sworn in.
The Cabinet ministers are BD Kalla, Shanti Kumar Dhariwal, Parsadi Lal Meena, Master Bhanwar Lal Meghwal, Lalchand Kataria, Raghu Sharma, Pramod Jain Bhaya, Vishvendra Singh, Harish Choudhary, Ramesh Chand Meena, Udai Lal Anjna, Pratap Singh Khachariawas and Saleh Mohammad. Kalla, Dhariwal, Meena, Pramod Jain and Bhawar Lal Meghwal have served in previous Congress governments while Kataria, a former member of Parliament from Jaipur (Rural), was a union minister of state.
“It will not be a full-fledged cabinet; another expansion will be done later, probably after the Lok Sabha elections,” an unidentified Congress leader had earlier told the Hindustan Times. “The Congress leadership has ensured representation to region, caste, experience and young blood.”
The names were decided during discussions between Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot in New Delhi and four party secretaries appointed for the state. Gehlot and Pilot, who took oath on December 17, returned to Jaipur on Sunday afternoon after three days in the national Capital, NDTV reported.
The Gehlot government had announced a waiver for farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh on December 19. The scheme is expected cost the government an estimated Rs 18,000 crore. In the Assembly elections, the Congress won 99 seats, just two short of the majority mark, while the Bharatiya Janata Party won 73.