Ahead of polls, BJP candidate takes oath as minister in Rajasthan | India News

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JAIPUR: Rajasthan CM Bhajanlal Sharma formed his cabinet on Saturday as 22 ministers took the oath of office at Raj Bhavan in Jaipur, with notable inclusion of Sawai Madhopur MLA Kirori Lal Meena, Jhotwara MLA Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and Surendra Pal Singh TT, the BJP candidate for Karanpur assembly seat where polling was postponed because of the death of the Congress nominee.
TT was appointed as a junior minister with independent charge. His elevation ahead of the January 5 polls in Karanpur drew criticism from Congress, accusing BJP of violating the model code of conduct, with former CM Ashok Gehlot tweeting that it’s “an attempt to influence the voters there”.
“The party in power has disregarded the MCC… Congress plans to file a complaint with the ED against this violation,” the party’s state chief Govind Singh Dotasra said. BJP dismissed the accusations. The result will be announced on January 8.
As Congress nominee Rupinder Singh Kooner, son of the deceased candidate and the sitting MLA, is anticipated to receive sympathy votes, the move to elevate TT even before his election is seen as a strategy to convey to voters that the constituency will have representation in the council of ministers if BJP candidate emerges victorious, sources said.
Of the 22 ministers sworn in, 12 received cabinet berths, five were appointed as MoS with independent charge, and five as MoS. The cabinet has one woman, Jayal MLA Dr Manju Baghmar, who took oath as an MoS. The total count of ministers, including the CM and deputies, now stands at 25.
For the first time, the state’s council of ministers doesn’t include any Muslim members, as the BJP didn’t field any candidate from the community in the November 25 assembly elections.


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