After nearly 11 days of contemplation and visits to the national capital, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan finally allocated portfolios among his newly inducted ministers late Sunday evening.
Perhaps the lengthiest decision in the state, it was finally announced at around 2 am on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.
As speculated, Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists grabbed key portfolios in the new cabinet, while one of the key BJP person, Dr Narottam Mishra was stripped of his charge as Health and Family Welfare Minister and the position was handed over to Scindia’s loyalist Prabhuram Chaudhary.
However, Mishra will now be responsible for Home, Parliamentary Affairs and Jail.
Scindia managed to flex muscle during the portfolio allocation as his men including – Suresh Dhakad (PHE-MoS), OPS Bhadauria (MoS- UAD), Brijendra Singh Yadav (MoS-PHE), Aidal Singh Kansana (MoS-PHE), Govind Singh Rajput (Transport), Imarti Devi (Women and Child Development), Prabhuram Chuadhary (Health), Tulsiram Silawat (Irrigation), Bisahulal Singh (Food and Civil Supplies), Pradyumn Singh Tomar (Energy), Girraj Dandotia (Mos-Agriculture) and Mahendra Sisodia (Panchayat and Rural Development) got plum ministries.
Nearly half a dozen of them were in charge of ministers in the Kamal Nath government. While, some of the other key departments like Public Relations, General Administration and Narmada Valley Development and others will be handled by CM Chouhan.
Yashodhara Raje, Scindia’s aunt received Sport and Youth Welfare which she had looked after in the previous Shivraj government as well.
To add, CM Chouhan expanded his cabinet with the induction of 28 ministers –eight of cabinet rank and 20 ministers of state on July 2 but could not allocate portfolios for a very long time. There was abuzz that Scindia camp wanted the key departments, which was a challenge for the incumbent chief minister.
Allocation of ministries finally could take place after the intervention of the party high command, which seems to have tilted in favour of the ‘Gwalior Maharaja’.
As many as 14 of these ministers, former Congressmen are not even members of the MP assembly and require by-poll wins to keep their ministerial berths intact. Former minister in Kamal Nath government, Pradip Jaiswal was appointed as chairman of Mineral Development Corporation.
Following the allocation of ministries, the BJP’s internal dissent still continues especially from those who missed the ministerial berths. One of them, who has been vocal for long, former minister Ajay Vishnoi tweeted from an unverified handle, “There has been a prime example of give and take in MP politics. Where you wish to take the BJP. If you did not wish to bring down the government then why all this was done. Don’t explain this to the public but you have to explain this to BJP or let us teach some lessons in a reverse manner.”
Responding to it, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh tweeted, “After 11 days of work out, loot has been distributed. Transport, Revenue and so on were handed to fugitives, excise, urban development and others went to BJP. Let’s see how much this three months of interim government does,” said the Congress veteran.
Senior minister Dr Narottam Mishra, who will now onwards head several key departments, told News18, that all is well now and there is no resentment in the BJP, everyone will work for MP’s speedy development.