New Delhi: As many as 23 newly elected legislators on Monday took oath as ministers in the Rajasthan cabinet formation. Out of these 23, 22 are from the Congress and one from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). Governor Kalyan Singh administered the oath of office at the Raj Bhavan in Jaipur. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was also present.
News agency ANI tweeted, “Swearing-in ceremony of 13 cabinet ministers & 10 state ministers of newly-formed Rajasthan govt underway at Raj Bhavan. Bulaki Das Kalla, Shanti Kumar Dhariwal & Prasadilal Meena have taken oath as Cabinet Ministers.”
The cabinet ministers are B.D. Kalla (Bikaner), Shanti Dhariwal (Kota North), Parsadi Lal Meena (Lalsot), Ramesh Chand Meena (Sapotara) Pratap Singh Kachriyavas (Civil lines-Jaipur), Vishvendra Singh (Deeg), Raghu Sharma (Kekdi), Lalchand Karatiya (Jhotwara), Pramod Jain Bhaya (Anta), Harish Chaudhary (Bayatu), Bhanwarlal Meghwal (Sujangarh), Udaylal Anjana (Chittorgarh) and Saleh Mohammad (Pokhran).
Among the ministers of state are Sukhram Bishnoi, Govind Singh Dotasara, Ashok Chandna, Tikaram Juli, Mamta Bhupesh, Arjun Bamniya, Bhanwar Singh Bhati, Bhajan Lal Jatav and Rajendra Yadav. Lone Rashtriya Lok Dal MLA Subhash Garg has also been inducted as a minister of state.
Of the 23 ministers, 18 are first-timers. There is one woman minister, Mamta Bhupesh, and one Muslim minister, Saleh Mohammad.
Rajasthan can have a total of 30 ministers including the chief minister. The CM Gehlot-led cabinet will have a few vacancies left which will be filled later.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot returned to Jaipur on Sunday afternoon after spending three days in the national capital. Both Geholt and Pilot were having a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and senior party functionaries.
Rahul Gandhi intends to focus on having a cabinet with a majority being fresh faces, sources said, adding the cabinet will be a blend of the old and new. The cabinet will reportedly give an opportunity to those who have not held ministerial portfolios in the past.
In the recently held Assembly election, the Congress won 99 seats and enjoys the support of six BSP MLAs and lone RLD MLA. The BJP had won 73 seats in the 200-member House. However, the election in Ramgarh constituency was postponed due to the demise of BSP candidate Lakshman Singh.
After results were declared for the Rajasthan Assembly polls earlier this month, there were long deliberations on who will be the next chief minister. While Gehlot had been a two-time chief minister earlier, Pilot was the state unit president and also the young face of the party.