MP: Shivraj Singh Chouhan expands cabinet, includes two rebel Congress MLAs

Written by
Milind Ghatwai
| Bhopal |

Updated: April 21, 2020 1:18:48 pm

Narottam Mishra, Tulsi Silawat, Kamal Patel Narottam Mishra, Tulsi Silawat, Kamal Patel (L-R) Narottam Mishra, Tulsi Silawat, and Kamal Patel take oath in a ceremony at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday. (Source: Twiter/@ANI)

Nearly a month after the BJP formed government in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday inducted five ministers in his cabinet, including three senior BJP MLAs and two former MLAs who are loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Former parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra, former revenue minister Kamal Patel, an OBC leader from Harda district, and senior BJP leader Meena Singh, a tribal MLA from Umaria district, were the three BJP MLAs who took oath on Tuesday in a ceremony at Raj Bhavan. From the Scindia faction, Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Rajput took oath.

Since he took oath on March 23, Chouhan was the only minister in the state cabinet. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to aggravate in the state, he was criticised by the Opposition for not expanding his cabinet and proving unequal to the task.

Chouhan has kept his cabinet short. The expansion was delayed as he had to strike a balance between senior BJP leaders and supporters of Scindia, whose rebellion along with 22 other Congress MLAs had brought down the 15-month old Kamal Nath government on March 20.

Among the 22 Congress MLAs who had resigned reducing the Congress strength in the 230-member assembly to 92, were six ministers, including Health Minister Tulsiram Silawat and Transport Minister Govind Rajput.

While Silawat was Congress MLA from Sanver constituency in Indore district, Rajput represented Surkhi constituency in Sagar district. To accommodate Rajput, the BJP had to deny berth to senior leaders Gopal Bhargav and Bhupendra Singh.

After resigning from the Congress on March 10 over an alleged denial of Rajya Sabha ticket, Scindia had joined the BJP on March 11. Immediately after his induction into the saffron party, Scindia was named the BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate for the Madhya Pradesh seat.

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