Madhya Pradesh Cabinet expansion likely at noon today; BJP faces dilemma in accommodating 6 Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists

The much-awaited expansion of the single-member Madhya Pradesh cabinet under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan might take place on Tuesday, sources said

Press Trust of India April 21, 2020 10:52:44 IST
Madhya Pradesh Cabinet expansion likely at noon today; BJP faces dilemma in accommodating 6 Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists

Bhopal: The much-awaited expansion of the single-member Madhya Pradesh cabinet under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan might take place on Tuesday, sources said on Monday.

"The Cabinet expansion will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) around noon," official sources said, adding that the size of the ministry is likely to be kept small. The exact number of probable inductees is not known yet.

Madhya Pradesh Cabinet expansion likely at noon today BJP faces dilemma in accommodating 6 Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists

File photo of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

The cabinet has not been expanded since Chouhan took oath as chief minister for the fourth time on 23 March, after his predecessor Kamal Nath of the Congress stepped down.

However, Chouhan could not get time to set up the council of ministers amidst the coronavirus pandemic. "Since 23 March, Chouhan has served as the lone member of Cabinet for the 28 days, which is a record of sorts in the country," BJP sources said.

They said that five to six ministers are likely to be inducted into the cabinet.

Opposition Congress has been slamming Chouhan and the BJP over absence of council of ministers at a time when the state is battling surge in COVID-19 cases. Senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha on Monday petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind, arguing that Chouhan government in its current format is unconstitutional.

They also slammed absence of a full-time Health minister in Madhya Pradesh amidst the coronavirus crisis.

For BJP, it will be a tightrope walk to accommodate six loyalists of former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia who had joined the BJP. All six were ministers in the erstwhile Kamal Nath government. It is likely that only two-three leaders from the Scindia camp might be taken on board by Chouhan, sources said, adding that the name of former Health minister Tulsi Silavat is doing rounds.

Besides the then six ministers, 16 other MLAs of the Congress had also resigned from the party, which eventually culminated into the collapse of Nath government.

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