BHOPAL: The much-awaited second expansion of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet will take place in Bhopal on Thursday. Around 22-23 new ministers will be inducted into the cabinet that was last expanded on April 21.
However, if sources are to be believed, then Chouhan’s expanded team could have less old and familiar faces and more new faces.
Ending the suspense about the cabinet expansion, the CM told journalists on Wednesday, “The Honourable Governor Anandiben Patel will take oath on Wednesday, while the cabinet expansion will happen on Thursday.”
Chouhan, however, made a far-reaching political statement by saying, “Manthan se toh Amrit hi nikalta hai, vish toh Shiv pee jaatein hain (brainstorming leads to nectar, the poison is drunk by Shiv).”
The CM’s statement among political quarters is being seen as a symbolic admission that the expanded cabinet might not include ministers, whom he wanted to be in the team.
Reacting to Chouhan’s statement, the former CM Kamal Nath tweeted, “the long brainstorming only led to poison and no nectar. The poison emanated from the brainstorming will have to be drunk daily, while the yearning for nectar will be endless. The result of the poison will have to borne at all cost.”
Importantly, the UP Governor Anandiben Patel, who has been given additional charge of MP (owing to the hospitalization of present MP Governor Lalji Tandon) was sworn for the additional charge at the Raj Bhawan in Bhopal on Wednesday.
She’ll stay overnight in Bhopal and is likely to fly back to Lucknow on Thursday, after administering the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers.
According to sources in BJP, after three days of meetings, the party’s central leadership has finally given its nod to the list of ministers for the expansion on Thursday. On expected lines, many old faces, who formed part of Chouhan-led regimes, are likely to have been dropped and fresh faces or multiple time MLAs, who have never been inducted in the ministry in the past, could find a place in the expanded team.
It’s also expected that Chouhan’s old loyalists, including former ministers Rampal Singh, Rajendra Shukla, and Bhupendra Singh will not find a place in the expanded cabinet, while new faces, like Ramesh Mendola, Usha Thakur (both from Indore), Dr. Mohan Yadav (Ujjain), Prem Singh Patel (Barwani), Yashpal Singh Sisodiya (Mandsaur), Kunwar Singh Tekam (Dhauhani) and Ram Khelawan Patel (Amarpatan-Satna) could be part of it.
Eight to ten ministers – all Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists – are likely to be among the 22-23 ministers to be sworn in on Thursday. However, it’s yet not clear whether two existing ministers, including home and health minister Narottam Mishra and Scindia-loyalist cabinet minister Tulsi Silawat will be elevated to the post of deputy CMs or not.