In a plaintive appeal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan minister Ashok Chandna has sought to be relieved from his post over the conduct of Kuldeep Ranka, the CM’s principal secretary.
Without elaborating on his differences with Ranka, Chandna said the principal secretary should be handed his portfolios as he apparently considers himself the “minister of all the departments”.
“I request the honourable chief minister to relieve me of this humiliating ministerial post and give the charge of all my departments to Kuldeep Ranka ji. He is anyway the minister of all the departments,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Ashok Chandna, the MLA from Bundi, is the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Skill Development, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Disaster Management and Relief in Rajasthan.
Underplaying Chandna’s outburst, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot 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.”
The development comes just days ahead of Rajya Sabha elections in Rajasthan and indicates a schism within the party ranks.
On Thursday, Congress MLA from Begu Rajendra Singh Bidhuri mounted a scathing attack against Ashok Gehlot. Bidhuri alleged that the government was opposed to a CBI probe in the REET paper leak case to shield the chief minister.
Just a week ago, Congress MLA from Dungarpur Ganesh Ghogra tendered his resignation in protest against a police case lodged against him. He later met Congress general secretary KC Venugopal in Delhi and complained about the functioning of the Gehlot government.
Another voice of dissent in the Rajasthan Congress is Pratapgarh MLA Ramlal Meena who said in a tweet that the party unit in Dungarpur district was in dire straits and needed saving.
The trouble in the Congress unit in Rajasthan, where it is in power, comes against the backdrop of the three-day Chintan Shivir in Udaipur, where the top brass and functionaries had deliberated upon ways to revamp the organisation ahead of assembly polls and the 2024 general elections.