BHOPAL: Tuesday marked the 100 day of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan -led BJP government, which remained tight-lipped about details of the second round of Cabinet expansion. While some BJP sources were confident that the expansion with induction of about two dozen ministers would happen in a couple of days, others said the suspense isn’t likely to be over soon as the BJP brass is not okaying many names suggested in the CM’s list.
Party insiders confided to TNIE that the “main hurdle” was caused by names of some multiple-time legislators who were ministers during Chouhan’s earlier stint as CM. The BJP brass wants more fresh faces and also wants to give chance to other MLAs who haven’t got chance in the ministerial team in the past. A key source said the CM’s insistence on including members of his previous government, including Bhupendra Singh, Rampal Singh and Rajendra Shukla, wasn’t approved by the central leadership. It is also looking for more caste and regional balance in the team, the source said.
Further, there is pressure from Jyotiraditya Scindia to allot at least 11 berths, meaning nine more berths as two of the existing five ministers are his loyalists. Sources said one faction of the BJP is in favour of creating the post of deputy CM for the present home and health minister Narottam Mishra, who played a key role in the fall of the Congress government in March.
But talk about such possibility has triggered demand from the Scindia camp to make one of his two ministers as the second deputy CM — which all collectively delayed the much awaited cabinet expansion.
A senior BJP leader from Chouhan camp exuded confidence that the Cabinet expansion would happen in the next two days with everything being amicably resolved.