With 14 ministers, Scindia gets a big share in MP Cabinet

Jyotitaditya Scindia.
Jyotitaditya Scindia.

Jyotitaditya Scindia must be a happy man today as he has managed to get a substantial share for his supporters in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan ministry in Madhya Pradesh. With 14 nonMLAs bagging ministerial berths, the 33-member state cabinet has a considerable presence of Scindia’s men.

In the process, the BJP leadership has created many dissidents. Former Chief Minister Uma Bharti was also disappointed with the latest expansion. She said she had written to party vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and state unit president V.D. Sharma about the lack of regional and caste balance in the team. The other key faction leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is seen as Home Minister Amit Shah’s point person in MP has also been left high and dry. His protege Ramesh Maindola has been left out while Usha Thakur from the camp opposed to him is in. Thakur is seen as a Rajnath Singh loyalist.

Narottam Mishra who is being promoted as a counter power centre against Chouhan has been denied the Deputy Chief Minister’s berth, apparently because Scindia was insisting on Tulsi Silawat to be made a Deputy CM too. Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar who has no love lost for Scindia is not pleased with the new ministry either.

Chouhan failed to have his way with senior loyalists Rampal Singh, Rajendra Shukla, Gaurishanker Bisen and Sanjay Pathak being left out. Scindia, who led the fall of the Kamal Nath government in the state to facilitate the return of the BJP, now has 14 ex-MLAs in the ministry.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Kamal Nath took a dig at the development, saying never did the state have a ministry where 14 of 33 members are non-MLAs. “This is distortion of constitutional provisions and a cruel joke on the electorate,” he said, adding he was “personally very sad to not to find many qualified, experienced, loyal BJP in the cabinet”.

With agency inputs