Rumblings in Rajasthan Congress over new appointments

Discontent among Congress leaders over the latest political appointments made by the Rajasthan government surfaced on Monday evening after two leaders considered close to party leader Sachin Pilot refused to accept the allotted posts.

Hours after the second list of appointments to various boards, corporations and commissions were released on Monday evening, former Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Sushil Asopa refused to become a member of the Barren and Pasture Land Development Board.

“I refuse accepting the political appointment given to me by the state government as my consent was not taken. I did not join Congress for the post, leaving my service. I will continue to work selflessly throughout my life,” Asopa posted on Twitter.

Likewise, Rajesh Choudhary, who was appointed as a member of the state-level committee for execution and coordination of the ‘Twenty Point’ program, too refused to accept the appointment.

“I express my gratitude towards the party high command for giving the opportunity but due to inevitable reasons, I am unable to take the responsibility. I urge the party to appoint an active party worker instead of me, and will always be available as a worker,” he said.

In 2020, Pilot, then former chief minister, had rebelled against the Ashok Gehlot-led government, prompting the Congress to form a three-member committee to look into the issues raised by the former. Five of Pilot’s loyalists were also inducted into the Cabinet last year.

While the first list released on February 9 consisted of 58 names, the second which was made public on Monday comprised 74 names. So far, 52 MLAs have been appointed as chairperson and vice-chairperson of various boards, corporations and commissions.

Explaining the reason behind resentment, a party functionary familiar with the development said those who were expecting the post of a chairperson were appointed as members by the state government.

The seniority and its subsequent placement was missing. A former mayor and a party worker were made members despite their seniority, the leader said on condition of anonymity.

A senior MLA and party office bearer said it is not possible to make everyone the chairperson. Names from different sections and factions were recommended and accordingly, the party leadership has taken the decision, the MLA said, wishing not to be named.

“There is a political message that it’s the chief minister’s discretion to make an appointment and he has used it. Though leaders from all factions have been accommodated, the final decision rests with the chief minister, this has been conveyed,” political analyst Manish Godha said.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan government has given the status of cabinet minister to three Congress leaders. A release from the chief minister’s office said “all chairpersons will be given the status of ministers of state”.

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