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Cabinet reshuffle: Political and caste balance in Rajasthan

DNA   |  Oct 29, 2012, 05:10AM IST
Jaipur: The latest reshuffle in the Union Cabinet has sprung many surprises as far as Rajasthan is concerned, leaving most political pundits scratching their heads while trying to decode the political message locked in it.
 
At best, the reshuffle can be described as an attempt to keep political and caste balance in the state. However, it is believed that Union minister Dr C P Joshi, in spite of losing additional charge of the prestigious Railways ministry, has had the upper hand over his rivals.
 
Lal Chand Kataria, MP from Jaipur rural has replaced Mahadev Singh Khandela as the party high command’s choice to give representation to the Jat community, the most influential political community in the state. From a protégé of chief minister Ashok Gehlot, he is believed to have become a member of the Joshi camp. There were speculations that either Jyoti Mirdha or Harish Choudhary would be taken from this quota but Kataria proved a dark horse.
 
Extending the theory of political check and balances, many believe that induction of Chandresh Kumari, MP from Jodhpur and a member of the erstwhile royal family, is also significant. She was earlier considered to be the choice of Gehlot when she was given the ticket to contest from Jodhpur. However, her entry in the Union government, that too as a Cabinet minister, is being attributed to her own political weight. And the fact that someone from CM’s home turf has been made a Cabinet minister—she is the first one to be included in the Union ministry after Gehlot from Jodhpur—is a point to be noted.
 
Although, Sachin Pilot has been given independent charge as minister of state there were speculations that he, along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, would be elevated as the Cabinet minister. His supporters would be disappointed a bit. 
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