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In Arif Aqueel, Madhya Pradesh Gets its First Muslim Minister After 15 Years

After ending the 15-year-old BJP rule in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath expanded his cabinet with 28 MLA's, including two women on Tuesday.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:December 25, 2018, 9:42 PM IST
In Arif Aqueel, Madhya Pradesh Gets its First Muslim Minister After 15 Years
Arif Aqueel, a legislator from Bhopal North, is the first Muslim minister in the state after 15 years. (Image: Facebook)

Bhopal: In a simple function, Governor Anandiben Patel administered oath of office and secrecy to 28 ministers, including the lone Muslim minister, at Raj Bhawan in Bhopal on Tuesday.

Arif Aqueel, a legislator from Bhopal North, is the first Muslim minister in the state after 15 years.

For obvious reasons, 10 Kamal Nath loyalists found ministerial berths while seven berths were offered to those seemed close to former union minister Jyotiradiya Scindia.

Two-time Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh who remained in the backdrop to ensure a Congress win was satisfied with nine ministerial berths to his loyalists, including to his son Jaivardhan Singh and close relative Priyavrat Singh.

Former MPCC president Arun Yadav’s brother Sachin, an MLA from Kasravad, was appointed a minister while ministerial berth was also given to Congress working president and the member of Team Rahul Gandhi — Jitu Patwari who won from Rau seat in Indore.

Madhya Pradesh which was the epicenter of caste protests after restoration of SC/ST Act provisions by the Centre felt the heat of the protests as eight Thakurs (Rajputs) were accommodated in the cabinet alongside two Brahmins, five OBSc, four STs and five SCs with Arif Aqueel the lone Muslim face in the cabinet.

Former minister and the ex-Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Laxmi Sadho and Dabra MLA Imarti Devi remained the women faces of the cabinet.

Bhopal received a single representation in the cabinet as South-West Bhopal MLA PC Sharma was included in the list of ministers.

Jaivardhan Singh, 32, an MLA from Raghogarh and the son of Digvijaya Singh is the youngest member of the cabinet.

Congress rebel Pradip Jaiswal who contested as an independent from Wara Seoni and defeated CM Shivraj Singh Chouhna’s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani, who had defected to the Congress ahead of polls, is the lone independent MLA in the cabinet.

None of the two MLAs from the BSP and the lone MLA from the SP was given any representation in the cabinet.

The portfolios of the ministers would be allotted later.

First cabinet meeting of the Congress government has been convened in the evening on Tuesday at the PCC and NP Prajapati who has won from Gotegaon in Jabalpur has been nominated by the Congress party for the post of speaker.

The assembly session in MP begins from January 7.

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