MP Cabinet expansion: CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan includes two rebel Congress MLAs
Bhopal, Apr 21: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday inducted five ministers in his cabinet on Tuesday, including three senior BJP MLAs and two former MLAs who are loyalists of former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Along with former parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra, former revenue minister Kamal Patel, an OBC leader from Harda district, and senior BJP leader Meena Singh, Scindia faction, Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Rajput took oath.
Since Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath on March 23, he was the only minister in the state cabinet. As the deadly coronavirus began to throttle the number of positive cases in the state, Chouhan was criticised by the Opposition for not expanding his cabinet and proving unequal to the task.
The Cabinet expansion was delayed as he had to make a balance between senior BJP leaders and supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose rebellion along with 22 other Congress MLAs helped BJP to collapse 15-month old Kamal Nath's government on March 20.
Among the 22 Congress MLAs who had resigned reducing the Congress strength in the 230-member assembly to 92, six ministers, including Health Minister Tulsiram Silawat and Transport Minister Govind Rajput.
Silawat was a Congress MLA from Sanver constituency in Indore and Rajput represented Surkhi constituency in Sagar district. To accommodate Rajput, the BJP had to deny berth to senior leaders Gopal Bhargav and Bhupendra Singh.
On March 10, Scindia resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP on March 11. As soon as Scindia was induced into the saffron party, he was named the BJP's Rajya Sabha candidate for the Madhya Pradesh seat.