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Madhya Pradesh election 2023: Shivraj Singh Chouhan to expand cabinet today

The new ministers in the MP cabinet will only have a month and a half before the dates of the election are announced and the model code of conduct kicks in

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Madhya pradesh election, cabinet reshuffle

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is all set to expand his cabinet on Thursday, just three months ahead of the assembly election in the state, in a bid to contain dissent within the party, reported The Economic Times (ET) citing sources.

They said three new ministers are likely to be inducted in the Madhya Pradesh cabinet.

Madhya Pradesh currently has 30 ministers, with four vacant positions. MP Backward Commission chairman Gauri Shankar Bisen and Riwa MLA Rajendra Shukla are expected to be among the new ministers, people aware of the matter told ET.

The new ministers will only have a month and a half before the election dates are announced and the code of conduct kicks in.

Cabinet expansion in Madhya Pradesh

Although the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government has seen demands for a cabinet expansion many times, it did not heed the demands, said people aware of the matter. 

Several meetings presided over by Union Home Minister Amit Shah revealed that some senior leaders in the party were dissatisfied with being left out of the cabinet, they said, adding that similar demands were made by some leaders in Karnataka, too, before the assembly polls. However, the party resisted such demands. 

Learning from Karnataka, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost the polls, the saffron party does not want to take a chance in Madhya Pradesh, where Chouhan is facing an anti-incumbency, said those in the know.

Also Read: Will decide who will be Madhya Pradesh CM after poll result, says Amit Shah

Candidates likely to be inducted into Madhya Pradesh cabinet

Bisen, whose name is on the list, is a senior BJP leader and seven-time MLA from Balaghat. He has been outspoken about his demand for a cabinet berth. He is from Mahakaushal region of MP, where the Congress won 24 seats in the 2018 election, while the BJP won 13 seats. With Bisen as minister, the party will be able to reach out to the region more effectively in the run-up to the election.

Rajendra Shukla, a four-time Riwa MLA, comes from the Vindhya region, which the BJP swept in 2018 by winning 24 out of 30 seats. Currently, the state cabinet has one minister from Vindhya, so with Shukla's induction, the party will address the demand for more ministers from the region.

The names of Khargapur MLA Rahul Lodhi and Narsingpur MLA Jalam Singh Patel are also doing the rounds for possible induction into the cabinet.

Lodhi is the nephew of former MP Chief Minister Uma Bharti, while Patel is the younger brother of Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel. Besides, there is also a discussion within the party about inducting a tribal face.

Also Read: How BJP is reimagining its grand poll plan

Madhya Pradesh Assembly election 2023

The 2023 Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly election is scheduled to be held in or before November to elect all 230 members.

In the 2018 election, the Congress emerged as the single-largest party. With the backing of the Samajwadi Party's one MLA, the Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) two MLAs, and the four Independent MLAs, the Congress secured 114 seats. It formed the government and Kamal Nath became the chief minister.

However, in 2020, 22 Congress MLAs, loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia, left the party and joined the BJP. Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the BJP took office as the chief minister again on March 23, 2020.

Also Read: Ahead of MP polls, Shivraj Singh Chouhan promises 10 'social revolutions'

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First Published: Aug 24 2023 | 12:43 PM IST

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