BHOPAL: Resentment over Thursday's expansion of the BJP government's cabinet in Madhya Pradesh continued with ruling party MLA Ajay Vishnoi shooting off a letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Vishnoi's letter, sent on Saturday, claimed there was resentment among the people of Jabalpur and Rewa divisions.
68-year-old Vishnoi is a former state minister and four-time MLA, currently representing Jabalpur's Patan seat. "I can understand your difficulties but people can't," he said in the letter to the CM, apparently a reference to Congressman-turned-BJP Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia whose loyalists managed to corner a sizable share of the berths.
"I request you (Chouhan) to take charge (as guardian minister) of Rewa and Jabalpur divisions to calm down the people. For your information, (Congress leader) Digvijay Singh, while he was MP chief minister, acted as in charge (guardian) minister of Jabalpur. Hope you will accept my request," he said in the letter.
Vishnoi is an old party loyalist and, in 1983, was Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president, and Chouhan served as the wing's state secretary. On Thursday, a supporter of Indore BJP MLA Ramesh Mendola tried to immolate himself after the cabinet expansion.
Mendola, a loyalist of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, was not given a ministerial berth in the expansion. While replying to a query about the tussle over the portfolios which is delaying the allocation, Vishnoi told reporters in Jabalpur on Sunday, "The party's image is getting sullied."
"Three to four days delay in allotment of portfolios had never happened in the past, nor our chief minister had to rush to Delhi," he added while referring to Chouhan's visit to Delhi reportedly to discuss the portfolio allocation with the party's central leadership.