BHOPAL: Eight days after the Congress-led government assumed power in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath constituted his council of ministers on Tuesday. Twenty-eight ministers, all of Cabinet rank, were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Anandiben Patel in Raj Bhawan in the afternoon.
Aqueel, MLA from Bhopal North, is the first Muslim minister in the state after 15 years.
Seven of the 28 ministers are former ministers, including Dr Govind Singh, Vijaylaxmi Sadho, Bala Bachchan, Sajjan Singh Verma, Hukum Singh Karada, Prabhuram Chaudhary and Arif Aqeel.
Striking a balance between all four major cities, the CM’s team has two ministers each from Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Gwalior. According to sources, some names, including Kunwar Vikram Singh ‘Natiraja’, Rajyavardhan Singh Dattigaon, Deepak Saxena, and Hina Kanware were dropped on Monday due to lack of consensus.
Meanwhile, angered at their leader not being inducted into the Cabinet, supporters of Andal Singh Kansana, Congress MLA from Sumaoli, blocked the Agra-Mumbai highway in Morena district with burning tyres. The police dispersed the mob and removed the roadblocks.
Eight ministers are members of powerful political families. Jaivardhan Singh and Priyavrat Singh are son and nephew, respectively, of ex-CM Digvijaya Singh; Tarun Bhanot is nephew of ex-minister Chandra Kumar Bhanot; Sachin Yadav is son of former deputy CM Subhash Yadav; Surendra Baghel is son of ex-minister Pratap Singh Baghel; Umang Shingar is nephew of former deputy CM Jamuna Devi; Kamleshwar Patel is son of ex-minister Indrajeet Patel; and Vijaylaxmi Sadho is daughter of five-time Congress MLA Sitaram Sadho.
There are only two females in the cabinet-Vijay Laxmi Sadho from Maheshawr and Imarati Devi from Dabra.
The cabinet expansion was done after both Kamal Nath and Scindia held discussions with the party central leadership.
Congratulating the new ministers, both Kamal Nath and Scindia asked them to work towards fulfilling the Congress' commitment of ensuring the progress and welfare of the state.
The session of the newly elected Assembly is scheduled to begin from January 7.
(With IANS inputs)