Sleaze-hit Rajasthan cabinet reshuffled

Hit with sleaze and corruption allegations, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot late Tuesday reconstituted his ministerial team, dropping six ministers and inducting 15.

Updated: Nov 16, 2011, 09:13 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Jaipur: Hit with sleaze and corruption allegations, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot late Tuesday reconstituted his ministerial team, dropping six ministers including Education
Minister Bharosilal Jatav facing illegal mining charge.

However, Minister of State Amin Khan, who had caused considerable embarrassment by saying that President Pratibha Patil got the top post due to her proximity with Sonia Gandhi,
has been rewarded with independent charge in the same status.

Among the six shown the doors were Ramlal Jat, who had resigned as Minister of State for Forest and Environment following allegation of being involved with a woman, Education
Minister Bhanwarlal Meghawal who had made allegedly adverse comments about another Minister Bharosilal Jatav.

The resignation of Jat, who had put in his papers on Saturday last, was accepted by Gehlot today, official sources said.

The others sacked in the reshuffle exercise are Golma Devi and Pramod Jain Bhaya.

Information and Public Relations Minister Ashok Bharwa has been elevated from MoS rank to the cabinet status while Birender Beinwal, Amin Khan and Dayaram Parmar have been made
Ministers of State with independent charge.

Three new Ministers of State are Manju Meghawal, Naseem Akhtar and Vinod Chaudhary.

Congress Chief Whip Raghu Sharma has been given a cabinet rank and his deputy Ratan Devasi the status of MoS.

All the new ministers will be sworn in Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Gehlot secured the resignation of all his ministers in order to carry out the reshuffle, which was necessitated by the political storm unleashed by the case of kidnapping and suspected murder of nurse Bhanwari Devi.

The decision in this regard was taken during an emergency meeting convened by the Gehlot, which was attended by all 16 cabinet and 11 ministers of state.

The Congress high command has been apparently concerned over the increasing public pressure and intense criticism from the opposition parties over the Bhanwari Devi kidnapping case, since she was a Dalit woman.
Mahipal Maderna, a power minister in the Gehlot government had already been sacked for his alleged role in the kidnapping and suspected murder of the nurse.

Besides the Bhanwari case, the ruling party has also suffered heavily due to police firing on Meo Muslims, which are Congress’ traditional vote bank, in Gopalgarh in September.

The recent developments in the state had put the Congress on the back-foot and prompted it to go for a major reshuffle to improve its credibility.