BHOPAL: Eleven days after being inducted into the council of ministers headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the 28 new ministers (including 20 cabinet ministers and eight ministers of state) finally got portfolios on Monday morning.
The distribution of portfolios among the now total 33 ministers, excluding CM, (25 cabinet ministers and eight ministers of states) meant that powerful BJP leader from Gwalior-Chambal region Narottam Mishra continued to be the second most powerful minister after the CM.
Mishra who was till now the home and health minister, not only managed to retain the crucial home portfolio, but also parliamentary affairs, jail and law. He had held the parliamentary affairs portfolio in the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government also.
While keeping the General Administration, Public Relations, Narmada Valley Development and Aviation portfolios self, besides charge of those departments not held by any other minister, the CM allocated the key Finance, Commercial Tax, Planning Economic and Statistics to loyalist and BJP veteran Jagdish Devda and the Urban Development and Housing portfolio to his another loyalist Bhupendra Singh. The CM’s third loyalist Arvind Bhadoriya (who played key role in toppling of Congress government in March) was allocated Cooperatives and Public Services Management.
The Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists, who had dominated the first cabinet expansion in April and the July 2 second cabinet expansion also managed to get plum portfolios, including transport, revenue, health, women and child development and electricity.
Among Scindia loyalists, Tulsi Silawat retained Water Resources, Govind Singh Rajput was allocated revenue and transport (portfolios he held in Kamal Nath government also). Imarti Devi managed to get her old portfolio (Women and Child Development), Dr Prabhuram Chaudhary got the crucial public health and family welfare, Pradumn Singh Tomar (Electricity), Mahendra Singh Sisodiya (Panchayat and Rural Development) and Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon (Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion).
Three other former Congress MLAs (not Scindia loyalists who were among 22 Cong MLAs whose resignations pulled down Kamal Nath government in March) too got important portfolios, including Bisahulal Singh (Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs), Aidal Singh Kansana (Public Health and Engineering) and HS Dang (Environment, New and Renewable Energy).
Among the BJP old warhorses, eight-time MLA Gopal Bhargava was allocated PWD, Cottage and Rural Industries, party’s long standing tribal face Kunwar Vijay Shah was allocated the crucial Forest department, Kamal Patel retained the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare portfolios, while Scindia’s aunt Yashodhara Raje Scindia was allocated the Sports ministry which she held during the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government also. In addition, she was allocated Technical Education, Skill Development and Employment.
Among the new BJP faces in the cabinet, Dr Mohan Yadav got Higher Education, Prem Singh Patel (Animal Husbandry and Social Justice), Om Prakash Saklecha (MSME, Science and Technology) and Usha Thakur (Tourism, Culture and Spirituality).