Rajasthan: – Twenty-three ministers will oath in Rajsthan, one week after Current Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot took charge following the Congress’ return to power in the desert state.

The Congress, won 99 seats, reached the majority-mark along with a single lawmaker of Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, Subhash Garg; he has been given cabinet rank as the Congress tries to keep allies on board.

Gehlot’s cabinet, crafted in consultation with Congress high command Mr Rahul Gandhi, is seen to balance the old and new generation in the Congress. Some former ministers have been included also. No first time lawmaker is in the government.

Eighteen People in this new government are first-time ministers. Congress leaders say there are two Rajputs, two Vaishyas or members of the business community, one Muslim, four Jats, three Scheduled Tribes, four Scheduled Castes, three representing Other Backward Classes and one Gujjar. There will be one woman, Mamta Bhupesh, who will be a Minister of State.

Some also kept out from cabinet, senior ministers from the former Ashok Gehlot cabinet, like CP Joshi, Bharat Singh and former speaker Dipendra Singh.

Rajasthan can have a total of 30 ministers, including the chief minister. Some vacancies will be filled later, say leaders.

The Congress won the BJP-ruled states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in recent elections but by a wafer-thin majority in the two bigger states.

With an eye on the national election due by May, the party has kept allies and caste-equations in mind.

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