MP Cabinet Reshuffle: Axe Expected to Fall on Seniors, Fresh Faces Likely to Join in
Following the feedback received from the party chief, CM Chouhan might well alter portfolios of ministers who have failed to impress with their work in their respective ministries.
BJP chief Amit Shah with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Jabalpur on January 8. (PTI Photo)
Bhopal: As chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been gearing up for another cabinet expansion, perhaps the last one before Madhya Pradesh goes to 2018 assembly polls, the axe might fall on three senior ministers, especially after the feedback offered by the party national president Amit Shah during his recent visit to the state.
Besides, following the feedback received from the party chief, CM Chouhan might well alter portfolios of ministers who have failed to impress with their work in their respective ministries.
Shah during the recent visit had met large number of party workers and leaders and recorded ground level feedback and also passed it on to the CM Chouhan. These visitors had offered feedback regarding a high handed bureaucracy and ‘weak political leadership’ in the state.
Meanwhile with the disdain shown by CM Shivraj in axing senior most ministers –Babulal Gaur and Sartaj Singh, during last cabinet reshuffle in 2016, it won’t be a surprise if some of the senior ministers could be shown the door this time round when the cabinet sees another expansion in Navratri. However things could be different this time as Shah already struck down Chouhan’s apparent ‘pick and choose’ policy saying that there was no such rule barring 75 plus ministers from cabinet.
So CM Chouhan this time have to bit more cautious while making his choices.
At present in the assembly of 230 lawmakers, the Shivraj cabinet has 29 ministers and six more ministers could be accommodated, giving much needed liberty to CM Shivraj to boost region and caste-based diversity in his cabinet.
If sources are to be believed, those who might not find themselves on cabinet after the fresh expansion include minister for Urban Administration and Development Maya Singh who apparently has failed to impress CM Chouhan with her functioning. At several places including Bhopal, the UAD officers have clashed with elected representatives leaving the party in embarrassing situation.
Health minister Rustam Singh could also be dropped as health services have gone from bad to worse in his tenure. Open rebellion from health staff including doctors has marred his tenure.
Besides the maverick School Education Minister Vijay Shah who is known more for his bizarre remarks than his functioning, might well get the hammer. On contrary, Minister for Higher Education Deepak Joshi could be entrusted with important responsibility besides his cabinet rank assigned to him during last reshuffle.
Meanwhile under scanner on charges of paid news, Public Relations minister Dr Narottam Mishra might save his place in the cabinet eventually as party chief had thrown his weight behind Dr Mishra by having lunch at his residence during his recent visit to MP. Political analysts also see Mishra’s entry into high command’s good books as a ploy to keep CM Shivraj’s meteoric rise in MP politics under check.
Meanwhile with an eye on 2018 assembly polls, CM Shivraj could well induct some fresh blood in the cabinet by bringing in some new faces into the cabinet. While considering the tough electoral battle ahead in Bundelkhand and Mahakaushal region, CM Shivraj could well offer fresh representation to these regions.
However with brewing discontent among government staffers especially teachers, physicians and after recent farmers’ crisis, besides MP staring at another drought; CM Chouhan faces a tough task ahead as he chooses his colleagues before entering electoral battle next year.
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