Pilot has been given the charge of public works, rural development, panchayati raj, science and technology and statistics departments.
New Delhi: The sweet taste of electoral triumph over the BJP in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is rapidly turning sour as top leaders of the ruling Congress in both these states have locked horns over portfolios and power sharing.
In Rajasthan, chief minister Ashok Gehlot assigned nine departments, including the key finance and home, to himself overriding deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot’s intense lobbying — that continued till late Wednesday evening in New Delhi — to get his supporters in the Cabinet important portfolios.
Mr Pilot has been given the charge of public works, rural development, panchayati raj, science and technology and statistics departments.
Selection of ministers and portfolios in Madhya Pradesh had also witnessed a similar tussle. Within the first week of the Congress government in the state, three top leaders chief minister Kamal Nath, election campaign chief Jyotiraditya Scindia and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh are reported to be locked in a tussle over power-sharing.
Congress sources said that both Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot were in Delhi on Wednesday to hold talks with the party’s senior leadership, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, over portfolio allocation as the two had disagreement over allocation of finance and home portfolios.
On late Wednesday, the chief minister announced his decision to keep finance and home portfolios with himself in addition to excise, planning, personnel, general administration and information technology department, among others.
Apart from the chief minister and his deputy, 13 Cabinet and 10 ministers of state were allocated portfolios by governor Kalyan Singh late on Wednesday night on the advice of Mr Gehlot.
The 23 ministers were sworn in on Monday, a week after Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot took oath.
The tussle between Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot had come into the open even before the elections with both projecting themselves as chief ministerial candidates. The issue was deftly handled by the party high command which refrained from naming a chief ministerial candidate and put off the decision till results.
The Congress took several days after the election results were announced on December 11 to decide on chief ministers for the three states — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — as well and more than a week to chose a Cabinet for each state.
In Madhya Pradesh, the infighting did not stop with the announcement of names of ministers as many of them seem to be putting pressure on chief minister Kamal Nath to get the portfolio of their choice. Supporters of Mr Singh and Mr Scindia also want departments of their choice.
Sources claimed that Mr Scindia wanted his supporters to be given important departments like home and transport, while Mr Singh wanted the finance portfolio for his son.
Interestingly, most members of the Madhya Pradesh Cabinet are relatively young. Out of the 28 appointees, 21 have become ministers for the first time.