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10:40 am - Wednesday February 21, 2018

Shivraj cabinet expansion today

Some ministers may face axe, some new faces likely to be inducted

Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal

The grapevine has not stopped buzzing with the rumours of a possible reshuffle in the Madhya Pradesh Cabinet, since Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met Governor Anandiben Patel at the Raj Bhavan, here.

According to sources, Chouhan spent around half an hour at Raj Bhavan with Patel.
The much-awaited reshuffle is likely on Saturday.

However, both the Raj Bhavan sources and the Chief Minister’s Office neither declined, nor confirmed the development, the sources said here.

Several new ministers could be inducted to balance caste, social and political equations and satiate community voters ahead of assembly elections this year end. Chouhan had hinted last month to add a few names to his cabinet which at present can accommodate six ministers in the team.

Besides 2-3 ministers are likely to be dropped on account of illness and other reasons.
As there are only eight months left for the assembly elections and the cabinet expansion would help the ruling party to balance the equation in some of the Congress dominated areas. It is believed that this is purely a political rejig.

BJP state in-charge and Rajya Sabha member, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is also likely to reach Bhopal on Friday night to attend the cabinet expansion. BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan when asked about the expansion said it was due since long.

He said the cabinet expansion was due and in the pipeline since long time. The government though, is yet to officially confirm the possible rejig.

Interestingly, during last visit, BJP president Amit Shah had raised questions for not including MLAs in the cabinet from areas where Congress leaders have their sway.

Oath taking at 9.30 am 

The expansion is likely to be held at 9.30 am at Rajbhavan. Governor Anandiben Patel would administer oath to the ministers. A team of senior officers including divisional commissioner Ajatshatru Shrivastava and IG police Jaideep Prasad visited Rajbhawan on Friday afternoon to take stock of the preparations for the proposed programme clearly indicating that the a rejig is on the cards. Sources said that only 300 dignitaries have been invited in the expansion ceremony.

May face axe

Kusum Mehdale (Cabinet Minister) on account of illness, Harsh Singh, (MoS) illness, Sharad Jain (MoS), illness, Surya Prakash Meena (MoS), illness

May be inducted

Ranjana Baghel, Narayan Singh Kushwah, Yashpal Singh Sisodia, Gopilal Jatav, Sudarshan Gupta, Kedarnath Shukla

Names doing rounds for coveted cabinet seats

Sources said that names doing rounds for the coveted cabinet seats include Gopilal Jatav, former minister of state for SCs welfare and MLA from Ashoknagar, Narayan Singh Kushwah, former MoS and MLA from Gwalior South, Sudershan Gupta, two time MLA from Indore-1. Names of Yashpal Singh Sisodia (Mandsaur), Ranjana Baghel from Manawar (Dhar), Mahendra Hardiya (Indore-5) and Ramesh Mendola (Indore-2) were also among the probable list.

Speculations about dropping of some ministers

Sources said that speculations were also rife that a few ministers including Kusum Mehdele (PHE and Jail), Harsh Singh (MoS Water Resources), Sharad Jain (MoS Medical education) and Surya Prakash Meena (MoS horticulture) are likely to be dropped on the basis of performance and ill health but, there is no confirmation on any change.


Posted in: Bhopal, Featured

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