Hours after a minister close to him tweeted an angry resignation, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said it “shouldn’t be taken seriously”.
Ashok Chandna, the Rajasthan Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Skill Development, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Disaster Management, appealed to Ashok Gehlot to “free him” and give all his departments to Kuldeep Ranka, the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.
“Ashok Chandna is a very good minister. He organized a very elaborate sports competition recently. He is facing a lot of responsibilities, maybe he is under some tension and said something. It should not be taken seriously,” Mr Gehlot told reporters this morning.
“I will speak to him soon and we will see. I haven’t spoken to him yet so I don’t know. He seems to be working under pressure,” he said.
Ashok Chandna is believed to be upset with Kuldeep Ranka, a bureaucrat on Mr Gehlot’s team.
“Honourable Chief Minister, I have a personal request to you, that by freeing me from this cruel ministerial post, the charge of all my departments should be given to Kuldeep Ranka ji, because anyway he is the minister of all the departments. Thank you,” Mr Chandna tweeted in Hindi.
Earlier, Rajasthan tribal leader and Congress MLA Ganesh Ghogra had a row with the state bureaucracy over land deed distribution.
Mr Ghogra, the state’s Youth Congress chief, resigned on May 18 saying that despite being an MLA of the ruling party, he was being ignored.
Mr Chandna’s tweet was seized by Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia, who referred to the state election due next year and tweeted: “The ship is sinking…The trends for 2023 have started arriving.”
For the Chief Minister, the resentment of ministers and MLAs couldn’t have come at a worse time, with the Rajya Sabha election approaching next month.
It also comes as the Congress tries to keep the lid on the unresolved strain between Ashok Gehlot and his rival Sachin Pilot.
The Congress in seeking another term in Rajasthan, which has voted out the incumbent party in every election over the last three decades.