BHOPAL: Cornered over Vyapam scam, but buoyed by results of just-held local body elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is set to expand his Cabinet by this month-end.
"Yes, I am going to expand my Cabinet by August-end," Chouhan told PTI without elaborating.
However, according to a confidant of Chouhan, the chief minister might induct seven to eight new faces in the Council of Ministers.
This will be the first time Chouhan will be expanding his team after starting a fresh five-year term in 2013-end.
Chouhan, just three-month short of completing a decade in the CM office, is expected to promote junior ministers Dipak Joshi, son of former CM Kailash Joshi, and Surendra Patwa, nephew of another ex-CM Sunderlal Patwa, added the source.
It is after 20 months that Chouhan, who is under fire over the massive recruitment and admission racket, will be expanding his ministry.
Twenty-three ministers, four of them of MoS rank, were sworn-in on December 21, 2013 after BJP swept the Assembly polls under Chouhan's leadership.
Of them, Kailash Vijayvargiya resigned from the Cabinet recently after being appointed national General Secretary of BJP.
Meanwhile, political analysts deem expansion of Cabinet by Chouhanm who is under opposition fire over Vyapam scam, is a measure to "consolidate his position and win friends."
Chouhan, who has rejected the Congress' demand to quit, received a major boost when BJP won eight of the 10 civic bodies that went to polls recently.
Since Madhya Pradesh has a unicameral legislature, it can have up to 34 members in the Council of Ministers, taking into account 15 per cent cap based on the strength of Assembly, which has 230 seats, political analysts said.