Third expansion of Madhya Pradesh cabinet on Sunday
Bhopal, Jan 01: The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh cabinet will be expanded on January 3 with likely induction of two loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia, BJP sources said on Friday.
It will be the third expansion of the state cabinet after Chouhan took over as chief minister for the fourth term in March 2020 after the Congress government collapsed. BJP sources said that Scindia loyalists Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput, who had to resign as ministers as bypolls got delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, are going to be sworn in.
The two were among Congress MLAs who resigned and joined the BJP with Scindia in March last year. Silawat and Rajput became ministers in Chouhan government, but had to step down as by-elections could not take place within six months. The swearing-in is expected to take place around 12.30 pm on Sunday, an official said.
After that, the newly-appointed Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice Mohammad Rafiq, will take oath around 3 pm, he added. Rafiq, who was chief justice of Orissa High Court, was transferred to the MP High Court on December 31.
Uttar Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel, who is holding additional charge of Madhya Pradesh, will administer the oath of office to the new ministers and the chief justice. In the Assembly bypolls held on November 3, results of which were announced on November 10, the BJP won 19 of the 28 seats, while the opposition Congress bagged nine.
Out of the 19 winners of the ruling BJP, 15 were those who had quit the Congress with Scindia. Three incumbent ministers- Aidal Singh Kansana, Imarti Devi and Girraj Dandotiya- lost the bypolls and had to resign. At present there are 29 members in the cabinet including the chief minister, and the maximum strength can not exceed 35. The talk of cabinet expansion started after the by- poll results gave the ruling BJP a comfortable majority.