Bhopal, July 5 (IANS) Even as the second expansion of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Cabinet in Madhya Pradesh has been finally done after hiccups over shortlisting of prospective ministers, pulls and pressures are still going on regarding the allocation of portfolios to the new inductees.
On July 2, 28 new ministers were inducted in the council of ministers, including 12 from BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia''s camp. Of the 22 Congress MLAs who resigned from the Congress to join the BJP, 14 are now in the expanded ministry.
The sources said that the issue of portfolio was being discussed both by the central BJP leadership and the state unit. The five ministers who were earlier sworn in during the first expansion have been looking after more than one departments.
The sources revealed that Chouhan could visit Delhi again to take up the issue of portfolio allocation with the central leadership.
The total strength of Scindia''s camp in the ministry is now 14, as two former MLAs were already in the council of ministers.
Among those inducted on Thursday, 20 are of cabinet rank and eight are ministers of state. So, while the new inductees are making efforts to bag coveted departments, those in charge of more than one portfolio are trying to retain their favourite ones.
Those included in the ministry from the BJP are Gopal Bhargava, Vijay Shah, Jagdish Devda, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Bhupendra Singh, Brajendra Pratap Singh and Vishwas Sarang.
From the Scindia camp, Bisahulal Singh, Aidal Singh Kansana, Imarti Devi, Prabhuram Choudhary, Mahendra Singh Sisodia, Pradyuman Singh Tomar, Hardeep Singh Dang, Rajwardhan Singh Dattigaon have been taken as cabinet ministers. While Brajendra Singh Yadav, Girraj Dandotia, Suresh Dhakad and OPS Bhadoria from Scindia camp were inducted as ministers of state.
The sources said that the Scindia camp was interested in bagging departments which were in direct contact with the masses, including rural development, panchayats, women and child welfare, home, irrigation, transport, public relations, and food supplies.
From BJP Prem Singh Patel, Om Prakash Saklecha, Usha Thakur, Arvind Bhadoria and Mohan Yadav were also inducted as cabinet ministers. Bharat Singh Kushwaha, Inder Singh Parmar, Ramkhelavan Patel and Ram Kishore Kavre took oath as ministers of state.
Those inducted from Scindia camp had resigned as legislators in March which led to the toppling of 15-month-old Kamal Nath Government. All of them will contest by-polls likely to be held in the state soon. Twenty-four Assembly seats are vacant at present.
The initial "mini" expansion of the Chouhan cabinet took place on April 21 with the induction of five ministers, including two former Congress MLAs close to Scindia -- Tulsi Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput.
Meanwhile, taking a potshot at the state government for non-allocation of portfolios so far, Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesman Ajay Singh Yadav said that the "remote-controlled government in the state was week, with the remote of 14 ministers with Scindia and of others in the hands of leaders of different factions".
Yadav claimed that there was bickering over allocation of portfolios and that since the government was proving to be a burden on the state, it will collapse soon.
Political analyst Shiv Anurag Pateria pointed out that allocation of departments was part of the long-term politics and Scindia wanted coveted portfolios for his followers in the ministry so as to increase their political weight.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan had taken oath as the chief minister for a record fourth term on March 23 this year, after Kamal Nath was forced to resign following rebellion by 22 MLAs of the Congress.
The total strength of Chouhan''s cabinet is now 34, including the chief minister. It has only one vacancy now as the total strength of the ministry as per the constitutional norms should not exceed 35.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: IANS