Rajasthan: Minister asks Gehlot to relieve him from 'cruel post'
Ashok Chandna, a minister in the Rajasthan Cabinet, has written to Chief Minister (CM) Ashok Gehlot asking to free him from the "cruel" post and hand over the charge of all his departments to Kuldeep Ranka, the CM's Principal Secretary. Chandna is the minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Skill Development, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Disaster Management and Relief in Rajasthan.
- With the Assembly elections in Rajasthan due next year, it seems there is no end in sight to the troubles of CM Gehlot.
- While Gehlot is balancing power on a thin line amid tussles with rival Sachin Pilot, the issue of ministers versus bureaucrats spells more trouble.
- Also, ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in June, upset MLAs are certainly a matter of concern.
Venting out his anger at Ranka, a disgruntled Chandna wrote on Twitter in Hindi, "Honourable Chief Minister, I have a personal request to you. Free me from this cruel ministerial post and give the charge of all my departments to Kuldeep Ranka ji, because anyway, he is the minister of all the departments. Thank you." Chandna is an MLA from Bundi.
माननीय मुख्यमंत्री जी मेरा आपसे व्यक्तिगत अनुरोध है की मुझे इस ज़लालत भरे मंत्री पद से मुक्त कर मेरे सभी विभागों का चार्ज श्री कुलदीप रांका जी को दे दिया जाए, क्योंकि वैसे भी वो ही सभी विभागों के मंत्री है।— Ashok Chandna (@AshokChandnaINC) May 26, 2022
This is not the first time that a minister in Gehlot's Cabinet is at loggerheads with the state bureaucracy. Last week, Indian National Congress (INC) leader Ganesh Goghra resigned while alleging that despite being an MLA and the Youth Congress' state president, the local administration was suppressing his voice. The Dungarpur MLA had a row with the babus over a land deed agreement.
After Chandna's tweet, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders jumped to criticize the Rajasthan government. "The ship is sinking. The trends for 2023 begin to arrive," BJP state president Satish Poonia tweeted. Poonia also told news agency PTI that this incident is proof of the weakness of the party high command. "It also shows the influence of bureaucracy on the government," he said.
CM Gehlot, on the other hand, tried to suppress the issue, and said, "He [Chandna] is under a lot of work pressure. He might have come under tension and made a statement, we should not take it seriously. I am yet to speak to him."