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For Rajasthan Cabinet Expansion, BJP Relies On MLAs From Non-Dominant OBC Groups, First-Timers

To get the caste arithmetic right, several MLAs from different OBC groups such as Rawat, Patel and Mali communities have been inducted into the council of ministers along with the dominant OBC groups such as the Jat community.

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Newly-appointed ministers of the Rajasthan cabinet
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The newly formed Rajasthan Council of Ministers reflect the Bharatiya Janta Party's central leadership's plan to usher in a new era for the party in the state, where its two previous chief ministers -- Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Vasundhara Raje -- had a strong political base of their own.

As many as 12 were sworn in as cabinet ministers and 10 as ministers of state in the BJP government in Rajasthan during a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan where Governor Kalraj Mishra administered the oath of office to the new ministers. Out of 22, 17 are first-time Ministers. 

The MLAs inducted into the Rajasthan cabinet are Kirodi Lal Meena Meena, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Madan Dilawar, Gajendra Singh Khimsar, Babulal Kharadi, Jogaram Patel, Suresh Singh Rawat, Avinash Gehlot, Joraram Kumawat, Hemant Meena, Kanhaiya Lal Choudhary and Sumit Godara. Of the twelve cabinet ministers, Rajyavarshan Singh is a former Union minister and two-time Lok Sabha MP from the Jaipur Rural seat and Kirodi Lal Meena is also a two-time Lok Sabha MP and one-time Rajya Sabha MP.

While Sanjay Sharma, Gautam Kumar Dak, Jhabar Singh Kharra, Surendra Pal Singh and Heeralal Nagar took oath as ministers of state (independent charge), Otaram Dewasi, Manju Baghmar, Vijay Singh Choudhary, K K Vishnoi and Jawahar Singh Bedham were made ministers of state. Otaram Dewasi, MLA from Sirohi constituency was the minister of state in the former BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje.

However, Ramganj Mandi MLA Madan Dilawar - a six-time legislator, and Gajendra Singh Khimsar - a four-time MLA, who have been ministers in the Raje cabinet, have been included this time as well. 

Most of the newly inducted twenty-two ministers are people who have not held ministerial portfolios before. Many BJP leaders who had earlier served in Vasundhara Raje's council of ministers have not been included. Some of the former ministers who did not make the cut this time include Kalicharan Saraf, Anita Bhadel and Ajay Singh Kilak.

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Caste arithmetic

To get the caste arithmetic right, several MLAs from different OBC groups such as Rawat, Patel and Mali communities have been inducted into the council of ministers along with the dominant OBC groups such as the Jat community. This time the council of ministers have three Rajput faces including Deputy CM Diya Kumari, former Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and former Cabinet Minister Gajendra Singh Khimser.

However, the representation of women in the Council of Ministers remains low. The only two women ministers are Deputy Chief Minister Diya Kumari and Manju Baghmar, MLA from Jayal constituency in Nagaur district.

The Dalit faces in the council of ministers include Madan Dilawar from MLA Ramganj Mandi constituency, Manju Baghmar, Herra Lal Nagar and Deputy Chief Minister Prem Chand Bairwa.

In Rajasthan, the BJP won 115 seats and the Congress was reduced to 69. Voting was held on November 25 for 199 out of 200 assembly seats in the state and results were announced on December 3.

On December 15, Bhajan Lal Sharma took oath as the Chief Minister and MLAs Diya Kumari and Premchand Bairwa were made Deputy Chief Ministers.

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