Jaipur: Just when the Congress government in Rajasthan thought it had suitably rewarded this rebel in the earlier Vasundhra Raje Cabinet, Kirori Lal Meena has begun expressing his disappointment.
Kirori lent stability to the Gehlot government by crossing over with his five legislators. In return, his wife Golma Devi was gifted a ministerial berth. Now the independent MLA from Toda Bheem says that's hardly enough and he wants a ticket from Dausa apart from tickets for his friends.
"There are thirteen seats in Rajasthan and 13 per cent ST population, I would suggest 13 tickets should be given. It's not one ticket that will satiate my hunger. I am looking for many more," says he.
The worry for the Gehlot government is not one of survival. The Congress knows that Kirori with his influence in eastern Rajasthan, can contest along with his supporters and bring down the Congress vote share.
But fulfilling Kirori's wish might not please everybody - especially another important leader, Congress legislator and Union Minister Namo Narayan Meena - who has also staked his claim for the seat.
"Dr Kirori Lal Meena even today is a member of the RSS. Now who made his wife a minister in the Congress government this only he knows, but I can only say one thing that the Meena community is not bound by anybody," says Ram Narayan Meena.
The Congress in the meantime finds itself between a rock and a hard place. On one hand are Kirori's mounting demands and on the other, the risk of annoying its longtime loyalists.