Six MLAs, including three Independents, have been appointed advisers to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan, hours after 15 ministers took oath in a cabinet expansion.
Twelve new faces have been inducted into the cabinet, fulfilling a key demand of former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot whose rebellion last year shook the state’s Congress government.
The Congress MLAs who have been appointed advisers are Jitendra Singh, Rajkumar Sharma and Danish Abrar.
Independent legislators Babu Lal Nagar, Sanyam Lodha and Ramkesh Meena have also been appointed advisers to Mr Gehlot, according to a list released by the Chief Minister’s Office. All six MLAs are considered close to Mr Gehlot and were in the race to become ministers.
Danish Abrar was among the three Congress MLAs, who were in Delhi on the day Mr Pilot revolted against Mr Gehlot in July last year.
It was speculated that they were with Mr Pilot but they returned to Jaipur and claimed that they had gone to Delhi for personal reasons.
He is now considered in the Gehlot camp.
Jitendra Singh, Rajkumar Sharma and Babu Lal Nagar are former ministers.
Mr Gehlot had earlier in the day said those who did not make it to the council of ministers will be adjusted in other political appointments.
After the oath ceremony was over, Mr Gehlot said parliamentary secretaries, advisers and chairpersons of boards and corporations will be appointed.
“Now, some will become advisers, parliamentary secretaries and chairpersons of boards and corporations. So, it is an effort that how we adjust most MLAs and move forward,” Mr Gehlot had told reporters.
A party leader said the role and participation of the newly appointed advisers in the government will be equally important.
“They will be given equal importance in the government,” the party leader said.
Sources said 15 parliamentary secretaries may be appointed.
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken, however, indicated that it was not the last cabinet reshuffle by saying that new faces would be given the opportunity when some desire to work for the party.
Mr Maken, while addressing MLAs at the party office before the oath ceremony, also appreciated state party chief Govind Singh Dotasra, Harish Chaudhary and Raghu Sharma, who quit as ministers to work for the party.
Mr Dotasra, Mr Chaudhary and Mr Sharma resigned on Friday from the council of ministers according to the party’s “one man, one post” formula.
Mr Sharma has been appointed the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Gujarat and Chaudhary as the in-charge for Punjab.
“The party high command and the chief minister have taken a balanced stand. All regional and social equations have been considered in the cabinet reshuffle,” a party leader said.
“Since there were limitations, it was not possible to accommodate everyone who had expectations. For this, 15 parliamentary secretaries and seven advisers to the Chief Minister will be appointed and other political appointments will also be made,” the leader said.
The Congress has 108 MLAs in the 200-member Assembly. It also has the support of 12 out of 13 independent MLAs.
With the induction of 12 new ministers and elevation of three ministers from MoS to cabinet rank today, the state now has 30 ministers, the maximum it can have.
The state now has 19 cabinet and 10 ministers of state, apart from the chief minister.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)