In Madhya Pradesh Cabinet expansion, Jyotiraditya Scindia has his way, 28 new ministers join Shivraj Singh Chouhan govt

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh cabinet was expanded on Thursday, July 02 with induction of 28 ministers, including a dozen loyalists of BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose exit from the Congress in March led to fall of the Kamal Nath-led regime in the state. This was the second Cabinet expansion since Shivraj made a dramatic return to the helm of state affairs on March 23. Shivraj had earlier in April inducted five ministers in the Cabinet. Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office to the new ministers at Raj Bhawan in Bhopal in the presence of Chouhan. BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia was also present at the ceremony. The new ministers include 20 of cabinet rank and eight ministers of state. The Chouhan ministry strength is now 34. The Chouhan cabinet still has one vacancy as the ministry’s strength, depending on the size of the House, should not exceed 35 as per constitutional norms. The event was organised by following COVID-19 protocols. Those inducted include 20 cabinet ministers and eight ministers of state. Prominent among the new ministers are BJP MLAs Yashodhara Raje Scindia, aunt of Scindia but always loyal to BJP and Gopal Bhargava.Chouhan took oath as chief minister for a record fourth term on March 23 this year, after Kamal Nath resigned from the post following rebellion by 22 MLAs of the Congress. The initial “mini” expansion of the Chouhan cabinet took place on April 21 with the induction of five ministers, including two former Congress MLAs close to Scindia — Tulsi Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput. Madhya Pradesh can have a maximum of 34 ministers including the Chief Minister. The rule says the number of Ministers in the state shall not exceed 15% of the Assembly’s total strength which is 230 in Madhya Pradesh. Former CM and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath has questioned the delay in the expansion of Cabinet. “This is for the first time in the history of the country when the cabinet expansion is taking place after such a long time. Only time will tell what the reason for this delay was and what will be its results,” he said.

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