Bhopal: The clamour for the Cabinet formation has gained momentum in Madhya Pradesh after former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia met BJP chief Amit Shah, reportedly seeking appointment of his close aides as ministers in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government. Scindia was referring to the six ministers who had resigned from the Congress party and joined BJP along with him.
Since taking oath as the chief minister on March 23 in a brief ceremony amid the coronavirus outbreak, Chouhan is yet to form his Cabinet. By doing so, he has set a record by becoming the longest serving CM without a council of ministers. Chouhan, on Thursday, completed 25 days in power as chief minister.
This record was previously held by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who had formed his Cabinet after 24 days of assuming power.
It was Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha who spoke about this development.
“Congratulations Shivraj ji. Amidst so much gloom in MP you managed an Indian record –as the longest serving CM without a council of ministers. Previous record of 24 days of was Mr Yediyurappa CM Karnataka., Both become CM fourth term and formed governments with the aid of defection (sic),” Tankha wrote on Twitter.
He added that the Kamal Nath government was dislodged by “unfair means.”
Tankha, while replying to a tweet from a senior journalist on Friday, said, “Hope they (BJP) realise how MP suffers cause of their shenanigans.”
“Bhopal wrecked with 90 plus cases and Health dept. Indore with 800 plus positive cases and highest mortality in country is to less and too little to wake BJP,” the senior lawyer added.
Congress leaders have repeatedly criticised Chouhan over the delay in Cabinet formation and accused him of usurping power by unfair means during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chouhan, in an apparent reply to the Congress’ jibes, tweeted on Thursday, “Aap Bas Rajniti Karen, Main Bas Kaam Karta Rahunga. (You keep indulging in politics, I will continue to work.”
Responding to Chouhan’s tweet, Congress’ media cell in charge Jitu Patwari said, “You achieved what you wanted to, but have mercy and please save the public.”
In an earlier interview with News18 India, Chouhan had said that there was little time to form the Cabinet as the state was reeling under the coronaviris outbreak. He added that the party leadership, too, had advised that the Cabinet formation take place after the lockdown has been lifted.
Recently, however, BJP formed a task force to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, comprising senior BJP leaders, including CM Chouhan. The team saw representation of Scindia’s camp as well, with his close aide Tulsiram Silawat being nominated to the group.
Meanwhile, sources also believe that the BJP has its task cut out as it has to accommodate not just its senior leaders, but also leaders from Scindia’s camp. Half a dozen former ministers of Scindia’s camp – Mahednra Singh Sisodia, Imarti Devi, Pradyumn Singh Tomar, Tulsiram Silawat, Prabhuram Chaudhary and Gvoind Singh Rajput, who had lost membership of the Assembly – are eyeing a ministerial berth. Complicating matters, others who deserted Congress and joined BJP, including Aidal Singh Kansana, Rajyawardhan Singh Dattigaon, Bisahulal Singh, are also hoping to be included in the Cabinet.