Twenty-eight ministers took oath in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. The oath was administered by Anandiben Patel, the Uttar Pradesh governor who has been given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh.
Among those who took oath as ministers are Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Gopal Bhargava and Jagdish Devda. Jyotiraditya Scindia, who switch from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party in March, was also present at the oath-taking ceremony at Raj Bhawan in Bhopal.
Several loyalists of Scindia, whose exit from the Congress party brought down the previous Kamal Nath-led government, also took oath. Among those from the Scindia camp who were sworn in as ministers are Imarti Devi, Prabhuram Chaudhary, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Pradyumna Singh Tomar, Rajyavardhan Singh, Brijendra Singh Yadav, Girraj Dandotiya, OPS Bhadoria and Suresh Dhakad, according to The Indian Express.
The Cabinet expansion was pending since March due to the coronavirus crisis and delayed Rajya Sabha elections. The government has been functioning with five ministers, including two loyalists of Scindia, since mid-April.
Scindia labels Kamal Nath-led government corrupt
Scindia, during a media briefing, described the previous Congress government as “brashton ki sarkar (government of the corrupt)”, The Indian Express reported. He alleged that the erstwhile dispensation had used every corrupt means to remain in power. Scindia also claimed that BJP candidates will win all 24 seats in the Assembly bye-elections, as voters will reject the Congress.
The BJP leader claimed that the Opposition had been trying to tarnish his image for the last two months, ANI reported. “It is our duty to fight against injustice,” he said. “Even if it means war, then Jyotiraditya Scindia will be on the frontlines. For the last two months, people have been trying to tarnish my character. I want to tell them – ‘tiger abhi zinda hai’ [the tiger is still alive].”
The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh collapsed in March after 22 MLAs, considered close to Jyotiraditya Scindia, resigned. They later joined the BJP. Scindia joined the saffron party on March 11 and was named the party’s Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh.
Chouhan took oath as the chief minister on March 23. The next day, he won a trust vote in the Assembly, from which all Congress MLAs absented themselves. MLAs from the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and Independent leaders voted in favour of the motion.