Cabinet expansion in Madhya Pradesh

Poornima Joshi New Delhi | Updated on July 02, 2020 Published on July 02, 2020

Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel administers oath to Yashodhara Raje Scindia as a Cabinet minister, at a ceremony at Raj Bhawan in Bhopal, on Thursday. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is also seen.   -  PTI

Shivraj Singh Chouhan finally gets a full-fledged Cabinet with a dozen loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia

After over three months of returning as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday finally acquired a full-fledged Cabinet by inducting 28 ministers including veterans like Yashodhara Raje Scindia and deserters from the Congress and Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists like Pradyuman Singh Tomar.

Of these, there are 20 Cabinet ministers and eight Ministers of State (MoS). According to the strength of the Assembly with 230 MLAs, Madhya Pradesh can have a minimum of 34 ministers including the Chief Minister.

There are a number of new ministers such as Mahendra Singh Sisodia and Pradyuman Singh Tomar, who had been ministers in the Congress government. Chouhan had resumed the CM’s office on March 23 after a rebellion by Jyotiraditya, who walked out of the Congress with 22 MLAs including six ministers, caused the downfall of the Kamal Nath-led Government in the State.

Chouhan took oath on March 23, just a day ahead of the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After functioning alone till April 21, he included five ministers in the Cabinet. Even this small Cabinet had been formed after much deliberation and negotiations with Jyotiraditya Scindia who insisted on his loyalists being given their rightful place. In the fits Cabinet of just five ministers, Scidia managed to push two of his loyalists, Tulsi Silawat and Govind Rajput. Altogether, there are about 12 former Congress MLAs who bear their elevation to Chouhan’s Cabinet because the BJP would like to keep Scindia in good humour for the next couple of months.

This is because bypolls for the 24 Assembly seats which fell vacant after the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs with Scindia jumping ship and the passing away of two legislators are scheduled to be held around September-October.

Most of these seats fall in the Gwalior Chambal region which is considered a Scindia stronghold. The BJP has to secure these seats for the continuation and stability of its Government in the State.

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Published on July 02, 2020
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