MP Cabinet to be expanded on June 5

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Bhopal, June 4 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh's Shivraj Singh Chouhan Council of Ministers will be expanded tomorrow evening when probably five new faces will be inducted.

The chief contenders are MLAs Dhal Singh Bisen, Sunil Nayak, Lal Singh Arya, Archana Chitnis and Kailash Chawla. The portfolios of Vijay Shah, Tukojiro Puar, Akhand Pratap Singh, Gopal Bhargav and Narottam Mishra are likely to be reshuffled.

Medical Education Minister Gaurishankar Shejwar and Narmada Valley Development Minister Nagendra Singh might be handed key departments.

Official sources said today that the oath-taking ceremony would take place at Raj Bhavan at 1730 hrs. Preparations had begun at administrative level.

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sources said that the final decision on the ministers-to-be would possibly be taken late tonight as Mr Chouhan is touring the northern part of the state and would discuss the expansion with senior leaders after returning here.

Nobody would be axed.

Besides the Chief Minister, the Council has 20 cabinet ministers and nine ministers of state. In keeping with the 230-member Assembly, the maximum number of ministers -- including the Chief Minister -- can be 35.

Health Minister Ajay Vishnoi quit on June 2 following widespread Income Tax raids and the resignation was accepted by Governor Balram Jakhar yesterday. Education Minister Lakshman Singh Gaud died in a road mishap some months back.


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