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Basking in Bypoll Glory, BJP Now Dealing with Tough Task of Allocating Key Ministerial Posts

Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

With a vacant cabinet berth and three ministers, all Scindia loyalists, losing in bypolls, the cabinet has now four vacant berths. But the numbers of claimants are seven for the posts and in all 22 Scindia supporters are awaiting key responsibilities after by-polls wins.

After mustering a massive vote share in Madhya Pradesh by-elections, Bharatiya Janata Party is now struggling to accommodate everyone in the party including members in the cabinet berths.

Earlier BJP had 107 elected representatives in the assembly which has now surged to 126, ten more than the required majority mark. However, after accomplishing the mission bypolls, the ruling BJP led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has a tough task of accommodating everyone including party cadre, even those who came from the Congress party.

CM Chouhan was quick to call on the governor Anandiben Patel on Wednesday but called it a courtesy visit and fended off queries on cabinet expansion.

With a vacant cabinet berth and three ministers, all Scindia loyalists, losing in bypolls, the cabinet has now four vacant berths. But the numbers of claimants are seven for the posts and in all 22 Scindia supporters are awaiting key responsibilities after by-polls wins.

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Some of them, sources say could be assigned responsibilities at the party. There are ministers like Imarti Devi who despite losing from Dabra have claimed that she was a minister and will be so despite her loss in the recent by-poll. Among those resigned en masse in March from Congress, 14 were appointed as ministers in the Shivraj government, and three of them, Imarti Devi, Aidal Singh Kansana, and Girraj Dandotia have lost and Kansana already has resigned from the cabinet on Wednesday.

With a thumping victory, Scindia aides Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput, who both resigned as ministers in October on completion of six months term without being MLAs, are expected to be appointed as ministers again.

Among others, Sanjay Pathak, Rampal Singh, Rajendra Shukla, a Chouhan close aide, Gaurishankar Bisen, Nagendra Singh, Ramesh Mendola, Ajay Vishnoi and others are staking a claim for berths in the cabinet.

A delegation of MLAs from the Vindhya region also met state head VD Sharma and raised the issue of representation in the cabinet. The region has been handing sizable wins for the party and I am sure the party will keep this in mind in cabinet expansion, Girish Gautam, MLA from Deotalab said.

Appointment of the speaker and protem speaker is also awaited –Rameshwar Sharma, ex-speaker Sitasaran Sharma and senior MLA Yashpal Sisodia are among those in the hunt.

However, with nine wins in the Gwalior-Chambal region, the Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia is sure to have his say in the Shivraj government. Scindia also has the pressure of those who missed the place in the cabinet and those who lost in bypolls.

Besides, state head VD Sharma not only has grown in stature after thumping in by-polls but he also has a greater responsibility of keeping coordination among the new entrants and those upset about entry of outsiders in the party in large numbers.

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first published:November 12, 2020, 14:43 IST