Jaipur, Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan Council of Ministers was expanded on Monday with the induction of 23 members, keeping a watchful eye on caste equations and experience.
Governor Kalyan Singh administered oath of office and secrecy to 13 cabinet ministers and 10 ministers of state at a ceremony at Raj Bhawan here.
Messrs B D Kalla, Shanti Kumar Dhariwal, Parsadi Lal Meena, Bhanwar Lal Meghwal, Lal Chand Kataria, Dr Raghu Sharma, Pramod Jain Bhaiya, Vishvendra Singh, Harish Chaudhary, Ramesh Meena, Udai Lal Anjana, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas and Saleh Mohammad were sworn-in as cabinet ministers.
Likewise, Govind Singh Dotasara, Ms Mamta Bhupesh Bairwa, Arjun Singh Bamania, Bhanwar Singh Bhati, Sukhram Bishnoi, Ashok Chandana, Tikaram Julie, Bhajan Lal Jatav, Rajendra Singh Yadav and Dr Subhash Garg were made MoS.
Besides, Mr Gehlot, his Deputy Sachin Pilot, Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal, former Chief Minister Jagannath Pahadia, former Minister Bina Kak, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajendra Singh Rathore and several dignitaries were present.
The new Congress government in the state–after the assembly polls–was formed on December 17, with Chief Minister Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot taking oath in a grand public ceremony at the historic Albert Museum Hall here.
The Indian National Congress with the support of lone member of ally Rashtriya Lok Dal secured 100 seats, a wafer thin majority in the 199-member House.
Mr Kalla, Mr Dhariwal, Mr Meena, Mr Bhaiya and Mr Meghwal have experience as Ministers.
Among the new entrants, Mr Kataria, a former MP from Jaipur Rural constituency, has served as Union Minister in the erstwhile Dr Manmohan Singh regime at the Centre.
Mr Dhariwal, Mr Vishvendra Singh, Mr Sharma, Mr Chaudhary and Mr Anjana also have experience as Members of Parliament.
Mr Vishvendra Singh, the scion of erstwhile Bharatpur royal family, had won Lok Sabha elections thrice and presently is a three-term MLA.
AICC Secretary Harish Chaudhary is a first time MLA but had earlier represented Barmer in Lok Sabha once.
Dr Sharma is a second time legislator who also won the Lok Sabha bypoll from Ajmer earlier this year.
Mr Sharma, as well as nephew of former Vice-President late Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Mr Khachariyawas are former presidents of the Rajasthan University Students Union.
Another second time MLA Mr Anjana is a former MP.Ms Mamta Bhupesh, the only woman in the Council of Ministers, is also a two-time MLA. Lone Muslim face of the cabinet Saleh Mohammad is a two time MLA from Pokharan.
Dr Subhash Garg is the lone ally RLD member in the Assembly who became Minister of State in his maiden term in the House.
So far as caste equation, in view of 2019 general elections, is concerned, a maximum of four ministers each are from the Jat community and the Scheduled Castes, three each from Scheduled Tribes and Vaishya, two each from Brahmin, Rajput and Other Backward Classes and one each from Muslim, Bishnoi and Gurjar.
As per the prevailing constitutional provision, the state Council of Ministers in the state (with 200-member state legislature) can have maximum strength of 30 members .Hence, there is still room for accommodating five more ministers.
Interacting with media, Mr Gehlot reaffirmed that all the commitments made by the Congress in its manifesto will be implemented in letter and spirit.
“In the first meeting of the cabinet we will adopt formal resolution to implement the issues of the manifesto and will hand it over to the Chief Secretary for effective action”, the Chief Minister said.