BY ARCHANA SHARMA
Jaipur, Sep 18 (IANS) It has been only a few weeks that the Congress has come out of the political crisis in Rajasthan over the leadership issue, but the chinks in the party again came to the fore after a senior party leader raised the issue of corruption.
Congress MLA Bharat Singh from Sangod in Kota district recently wrote to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to demand the removal of what he claimed a “corrupt Minister” from his Cabinet.
Sources confirmed that Bharat Singh was gunning for Pramod Bhaya, who is the Cabinet Minister for Mining and Gau Palan.
The MLA said in his letter: “Have come to know from newspapers that you have changed the Ministers in-charge of different districts. It will take time to evaluate the results of this initiative; however, the need of the hour is to remove the most corrupt Minister to send out a loud and clear message to the public. As the CM, you had removed this Minister earlier also.”
Bhaya was from the Sachin Pilot camp before the Assembly elections but switched to the Gehlot camp after the electoral battle. However, eyebrows were raised in the Gehlot camp over his reported meeting with Pilot recently.
However, one of Pilot’s loyalists maintained that it was a casual meeting of Bhaya with Pilot. Bhaya also met Gehlot later, he added.
It seems that the Pilot camp is gaining in strength as many Congress leaders, after waiting in vain for plum posts, are reaching out to Pilot, said a Congress worker.
Meanwhile, a Congress source told IANS that around 101 MLAs, including 6 BSP MLAs, are waiting for political rewards from the CM for camping in hotels during the political crisis for a month or so. However, Gehlot is not in a position to please everyone due to the lack of a sufficient number of available positions.
With the Chief Minister cancelling his meetings for a month after around 40 personnel deployed at his office and residence tested coronavirus positive, the situation is adding to the concerns of these MLAs who are unable to reach out to Gehlot, he added.
That all is still not well within the state Congress was evident when Rajasthan Congress in-charge Ajay Maken went to Ajmer and Jaipur and met Congress workers to take their feedback.
Many party workers refused to meet Maken in the presence of new PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasara. Similarly, many of them preferred to give him their complaints in sealed envelopes to ensure their concerns reached Delhi directly.
The Congress leaders and workers are also eagerly awaiting the state Cabinet expansion and political appointments, with most trying to figure out which camp gets more portfolios. Meanwhile, Congress workers have started speaking out against their own party’s “corrupt ” Ministers, which seems to further dent the Congress prospects.
A senior Congress leader told IANS that Health Minister Raghu Sharma has not made a single round of any hospital during the COVID pandemic, unlike Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. He claimed that state doctors too are following his example and allegedly staying away from doing the rounds, sending only junior doctors for the task.
Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas has already been probed by Anti-Corruption Bureau officials on corruption charges, he said.
Maken has, meanwhile, collected feedback from the Jaipur and Ajmer divisions, while he is yet to tour five other divisions.
Now, all eyes are set on what feedback he gets from the remaining areas, including Jodhpur that is Gehlot’s seat, a Congress leader said.
BY ARCHANA SHARMA