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In cabinet reshuffle, CM Raje balances caste, regional equations

Jaipur: The cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan is a balancing act on caste and regional lines with Jat, Dalit and tribal communities finding representation in the government.

In her second cabinet reshuffle, Vasundhara Raje on Saturday inducted six new ministers, including a Dalit woman MLA, elevated two state ministers to Cabinet rank besides appointing five parliamentary secretaries.

Ajay Sigh Kilak, who was elevated from state minister to Cabinet rank, and Banshidhar Bajia, a newly-inducted state minister, hail from the Jat community.

Singh, a two-time MLA who represents Degana (Nagaur) constituency, comes from an influential Jat family. His elevation is seen as a step to check the influence of vocal Independent MLA Hanuman Beniwal in Nagaur who also comes from the Jat community and is known for his differences with the chief minister.

Ajay Singh’s father, late Ramraghu Nath Chaudhary had been a two-time MP, three-time MLA and also a Pradhan for three times.

State minister Banshidhar, who is a second time MLA, is the face of the Jat community in Shekhawati region. He represents Khandela constituency in Sikar district. Cabinent minister Baboo Lal Verma, state minister Kamsa Meghwal and Parliamentary Secretary Kailash Verma are the Dalit faces.

Verma, who along with Ajay Singh Kilak, was elevated from the state minister to cabinet rank, has influence over the Dalit community, mainly in Hadauti region, which comprises of Kota and Baran districts and nearby areas.

Kamsa Meghwal is seen as influential among the Dalit community in the Marwar region, which mainly comprises of the Jodhpur division.

31-year old Dalit leader Kailash Verma is a first time MLA who represents Bagru constituency in Jaipur.

To increase the representation of tribals, Dhan Singh Rawat and Sushil Katara were inducted as state ministers, while Bhima Bhai was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary.

Rawat and Katara are tribal leaders from Vagad region, which comprises of Dungarpur, Banswara and nearby areas.

Parliamentary Secretary Om Prakash Hudla, representing Mahwa constituency of Dausa district, is a young leader representing the Meena community.

PTI