In Rajasthan, Congress' 'enduring plan' to address discontent among MLAs

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After overcoming the recent political crisis in Rajasthan, the state Congress has started working on an “enduring plan” to address dissatisfaction among MLAs and other party leaders.

The party is planning to ensure maximum participation of MLAs, senior leaders and workers in the government and organisation. Around 1.30 lakh workers have been identified in districts and blocks. They will be given an opportunity to work with the government. The government will accommodate maximum legislators for governance – in cabinet, as parliamentary secretaries and chairpersons of boards and commissions, according to a senior Congress leader familiar with the development.

Rajasthan can have a maximum of 30 ministers. At present, there are 22, including the chief minister.

Recently, the Chhattisgarh government appointed 15 parliamentary secretaries. “In Rajasthan also, the possibilities are being explored, the parliamentary secretaries will assist the ministers in working,” the party leader said.

Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra has now been made state party chief, another minister Bhanwar Lal is unwell, the post of deputy speaker is vacant, eight posts of ministers are to be filled and some ministers on the basis of performance are likely to be replaced. “This way, around 13-15 in the ministry, including those who came from BSP and independents will be accommodated and a dozen can be made parliamentary secretaries,” the party leader said.

He said the state government will bring an amendment in the Prevention of Disqualification Act to avoid office of profit violation, while accommodating MLAs in board and commissions. “The party leadership does not want repetition of what happened when 19 MLAs, led by Sachin Pilot, turned rebel. The move is to address resentment and ensure active participation in the government,” he added.

Besides, the Congress leader said the party has identified over 1.30 lakh workers, who actively worked at booth level and helped the party in elections. “These workers will be accommodated at block and district level in various committees such as MGNREGA, Swasthya Rakshak, 20-point programme, school and hospital boards to help provide good governance,” he said.

“A good number of senior leaders including ex-MLAs, ministers and chairpersons will be given positions in organisations, other than political appointments in the government, said the party leader.

AICC general secretary and the party incharge for Rajasthan, Ajay Maken said when there are various statutory positions which have been occupied in past by the MLAs in Rajasthan as also in the Congress-ruled states such as Punjab has six advisors to the CM and Chhattisgarh has 15 parliamentary secretaries. “Holding such positions helps MLAs to exercise their authority more effectively for development. When provisions are available, why leave them empty,” he said. The appointments will be both a mixture of MLAs and non-MLAs, Maken said.

Political analyst Narayan Bareth said in democracy, power sharing is a big thing, where workers feel themselves as part of the system, but stopping resentment through this is difficult. Till the time, the workers or leaders are ideologically dedicated, it will not solve the purpose. Power is not a solution for resentment, he said.

BJP Spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said it is unfortunate that the state exchequer will have to bear the burden of Congress pleasing its MLAs.

“To save their government, Congress is trying to please MLAs, the burden of which will come on state exchequer,” he said.

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