Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday assigned portfolios to the Cabinet ministers who had been inducted on July 2, PTI reported. Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party MP Jyotiraditya Scindia got several portfolios. The resignation of Scindia from the Congress in March had led to the exodus of 22 legislators, and the fall of the Kamal Nath-led state government.
Scindia loyalist Tulsi Silawat retained the water resources department, and was also assigned the fisheries and fisheries development departments. Govind Singh Rajput, another Scindia supporter, retained the revenue and transport departments.
Pradyumna Singh Tomar and Imarti Devi got energy and women and child development. The health ministry went to Prabhuram Chaudhary, and Mahendra Singh Sisodia secured the panchayat and rural development portfolio, The Indian Express reported.
Among other Scindia loyalists, Bisahulal Singh got the food and civil supplies and consumer protection ministry, Aidal Singh Kansana public health engineering, Hardeep Singh Dang new and renewable energy, Rajwardhan Singh Dattigaon industrial policy and investment promotion, Brajendra Singh Yadav the public health engineering department, Girraj Dandotia the farmers welfare and agriculture development department, Suresh Dhakad public works department and OPS Bhadoria urban administration and development. Yadav, Dandotia, Dhakad and Bhadoria were appointed ministers of state.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narottam Mishra held on to the home ministry. Though he was divested of the health ministry portfolio, he was given charge of law, jail and parliamentary affairs ministries.
Other BJP leaders who secured portfolios were Mohan Yadav, (higher education department), Brajendra Pratap Singh (mineral resources and labour) Vishwas Sarang (medical education and bhopal gas tragedy and relief), Prem Singh Patel (animal, social justice and disabled persons’ welfare), and Om Prakash Saklecha (minor, small and medium enterprises). Usha Thakur got the tourism, culture and spiritual departments and Arvind Bhadoria cooperatives and public service management. On the other hand, Meena Singh Mandve retained the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes welfare portfolio.
The Chouhan ministry now has 34 ministers, including four women. As many as 14 of the 34 are former Congress legislators, who will have to win bye-elections to hold on to their portfolios. Twenty-two Congress MLAs had quit the party along with Scindia in March. On Sunday, Congress MLA Pradyuman Singh Lodhi quit the party and joined the BJP.
As many as 25 seats in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly are lying vacant. Bye-elections have to be held to these seats due to the resignation of 23 MLAs, and the death of two sitting legislators.
Chief Minister Chouhan was the only minister in the Cabinet from March 23 to April 21, when five MLAs were inducted. A second expansion took place on July 2, when 28 ministers took oath but were not assigned portfolios.