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No portfolios to ministers; tasked with controlling Corona spread

Five ministers were inducted into the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet on Tuesday. It took nearly a month for Madhya Pradesh chief minister to form his council of ministers.

The five inducted ministers include BJP leaders Narottam Mishra, Kamal Patel, and Meena Singh while two ministers, Govind Singh Rajput and Tulsi Silawat, have been inducted from the ranks of ex-Congress MLAs, who had switched over to the BJP in mid-March. The micro-sized cabinet has been formed keeping in mind the factions and recent entry of Congress’ ex-MLAs into BJP. No portfolios were awarded to the new ministers instead they have each been given responsibilities of two divisions each.

The cabinet formation comes after intense lobbying and numerous rounds of discussions between BJP state and central leaders and those between former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and the central BJP leadership.

Congress launched scathing attacks on BJP through series of tweets by party handles and those of MLAs saying that very senior MLA Gopal Bhargava including Bhupendra Singh, Gaurishankar Bisen, Vijay Shah, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Rajendra Shukla, and Rampal Singh has been kept away. Bisahulal Singh, Mahendra Singh Sisodia and Prabhuram Chaudhary who came to BJP from Congress have also been kept in waiting.

“Only two of the 22 turncoats have been inducted as ministers. Why weren’t the independents, SP, BSP, and other turncoat MLAs not inducted as promised? This is the beginning of the treachery that will follow,”

said Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja in a tweet.

Sources said CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan went in for a small cabinet owing to pressure from leaders within the party and the Scindia group. A full-scale cabinet is likely to be appointed in May after the lockdown is lifted. It is being said that Shivraj Singh gave the place to distress-makers Dr. Narottam Mishra and Tulsi Silavat because both of them have been Health Ministers in the past, which will now directly benefit in dealing with Coronavirus spread.

Initially, sources said the group of ex-Congress MLAs led by Scindia was opposed to the idea of forming a truncated cabinet and demanded that the entire cabinet be sworn in together.

Kamal Patel and Govind Singh Rajput have also played their roles in major departments before this, their experience may come handy. Patel is a Jat and represents the backward class. By inducing the five, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has attempted to strike a caste and regional balance.

Meena Singh is tribal. Meena Singh has also been away from power for a long time. Meena Singh used to be the Minister of State at first and was later removed. She is the only female face and can be considered a representative of the Vindhya region.

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