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Chhattisgarh : BJP likely to drop reshuffle plan

BJP is unlikely to reshuffle the ministry fearing it may fuel further trouble among senior members.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 15:26 IST

The dissension-plagued Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Chhattisgarh is unlikely to reshuffle the ministry fearing it may fuel further trouble among senior members.

Chief Minister Raman Singh has been reviewing the performance of his 13-member council of ministers since August. The party had said that ministers with a poor record would be stripped off their important portfolios or accommodated in the party.

The government began its review after it sacked tribal leader Shiv Pratap Singh in August from the party state president's post after he questioned the capability of some ministers.

He also alleged that "corruption has been overtaking development" in the state.

"Losing power in Jharkhand is a big setback. We do not want to stoke up dissension among ministers by cracking the whip in the name of poor performance. We want a smooth run for the government," a senior party member told IANS.

"The proposed cabinet reshuffle will either be spiked or delayed until March 2007," a source added.

The BJP came to power in December 2003 and has a slender majority in a 90-member state assembly with 52 legislators.

The BJP is divided into various groups and sub-groups in the tribal-dominated state. Several tribal leaders, including legislators, have been pressing for a tribal chief minister to boost BJP's prospects in the next polls due in 2008.

"The demand for a tribal chief minister is genuine as the BJP was voted to power in 2003 because tribals surprisingly switched over from the Congress for the first time. They now feel betrayed," said a dissident minister.

The BJP, which won 25 tribal seats out of 34 reserved for the community, had promised to provide a cow free to each tribal family but did not carry out the promise.

First Published: Sep 16, 2006 15:26 IST