Four MLAs likely to be inducted in Madhya Pradesh cabinet
The Madhya Pradesh assembly elections are set to be set held in November-December, along with those in Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram
Bhopal Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is likely include four ministers into his cabinet with an aim to balance caste and regional equations in the council ahead of the assembly elections later this year, according to two people aware of the matter.
The Madhya Pradesh council of ministers can have 35 ministers, including the chief minister, and four berths are vacant at the moment. On Tuesday, Chouhan met governor Mangubhai Patel, and the cabinet expansion was a part of the discussions, said a BJP leader who asked not to be named.
The leader said that four BJP MLAs are likely to get place in the cabinet, with the names of former ministers Gauri Shankar Bisen from Balaghat and Rajendra Shukla from Rewa, and Union culture and mines minister Prahlad Patel’s brother Jalam Patel (MLA from Narsinghpur) and former chief minister Uma Bharti’s nephew Rahul Lodhi (Khargapur MLA) doing the rounds.
The Madhya Pradesh assembly elections are set to be set held in November-December, along with those in Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram. The model code of conduct, during which period there is a ban on any major policy decisions or administrative changes, is likely to come into force by mid-October.
A second senior BJP leader, who asked not to named, said: “Jalam Patel is likely being included to appease the Dhakad community, which is a dominating community especially in Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand and Vindhya regions.” The BJP wants to counter the Congress outreach to Patel community after Congress MLA Kamleshwar Patel from Sidhi was included the Congress Working Committee earlier this week, the leader added.
The party is also trying to woo the backward Lodhi community, which makes up about 9% of Madhya Pradesh and has political sway in 65 assembly seats, and may therefore include Rahul Lodhi. The 40-year-oldis a nephew of Uma Bharti, and the party wants to end speculation about differences with Bharti, who has been attacking the state government on different issues in recent months, the second leader said.
On Sunday, Union home minister Amit Shah took Uma Bharti’s name while releasing the 20-year report card of BJP-led state government, indicating that the party was attempting to placate her.
The Madhya Pradesh cabinet currently has 10 ministers from Other Backward Classes (OBC), 13 from the general category, and four each from the Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste communities.
Reacting on a possible cabinet expansion, BJP state president Vishnudutt Sharma said: “Cabinet expansion is the prerogative of our honourable chief minister. He can decide on this at any time. If a decision is being taken, it will come out soon.”
The Congress, on its part, said the BJP was trying to woo “not just voters but also their own leaders”.
Get Updates on India News, Farmers Protest Live alongwith the Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the the world.