The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Heads roll in Rajasthan one-man one-post drive

New Delhi, Jan. 16: With the “Mumbai mission” of Sonia Gandhi’s central observers’ team barely over, heads have started rolling in Rajasthan, too.

The Congress high command, setting in motion in the desert state the ongoing toning up of party units and governments, has invoked the one-man-one-post norm.

The Congress has asked its Rajasthan leaders holding both government and party positions to relinquish either of the jobs.

According to informed sources, two senior members of the Ashok Gehlot ministry — Janardhan Singh Gehlot and Madhav Singh Dewan — have submitted their resignations as state vice-presidents to Ambika Soni, AICC general-secretary in charge of the state.

Hemant Chaudhury, a junior minister, and Madan Kaur, who heads a government corporation, too, have submitted their resignations as state secretaries.

All others holding dual positions, too, would give up one of their responsibilities, sources said. The move has triggered speculation in party circles that state president Girija Vyas, whose ouster is considered almost certain, might have already offered her resignation.

Her resignation would pave the way for a massive overhaul of the Congress in the state, thus ushering a new team to gear up the party for the November Assembly polls. There is, however, no confirmation of Vyas’ resignation.

Though changes in the Gehlot ministry are on the cards, the chief minister will not be disturbed. Besides massive changes in the state unit, Gehlot’s ministry is set for a new look, with the likely induction of several new faces.

The posts of two deputy chief ministers are also being considered. Gehlot has held intensive consultations with Sonia, the third and last round of which was on Wednesday.

Ambika Soni, after a meeting with Sonia late this evening, said a decision on necessary changes in the organisation and the legislature party would be announced within a couple of days after the party chief’s return from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday.

Sonia left by train tonight for a two-day tour of her home constituency.

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