With only eight months for the assembly elections, the Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan played a political jig by marking the presence in Congress swayed areas. The CM on Saturday expanded his council of ministers by inducting three members, including one in the cabinet.
“We have got new colleagues… This will enhance our strength and we will be able to use their expertise. Another brief expansion would be done soon,” he said.
The new faces
Among the newly inducted faces in the council of ministers are BJP legislators Balkrishna Patidar, Narayan Singh Kushwaha and Jalam Singh Patel. The cabinet rank was given to Kushwaha while Patidar and Patel were made ministers of state. Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath at the Raj Bhavan in the presence of Mr Chouhan, senior ministers of his Cabinet and top officials from the state.
Patidar belongs to the Nimar region and is the MLA from Khargone. Kushwaha, on the other hand, comes from the Gwalior-Chambal region and represents Gwalior South in the Assembly. Chouhan has been in power since 2005 and this comes as the second time that Kushwaha is serving in his Cabinet.
Jalam Singh Patel belongs to the Mahakaushal region and is the MLA from Narsinghpur. He is the younger brother of BJP MP and former Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel.
Congress couldn’t resist opposing the expansion in view of enforcement of model code of conduct in Mungaoli and Kolaras. These areas have by-polls scheduled for February 24.
On the opposition by Congress, Chouhan said, “Raising questions without any basis has become a habit of the Congress. Cabinet expansion is a prerogative of the chief minister and I have exercised it.”
The BJP has been in power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003.