New Delhi: After a 11-day tug-of-war for portfolios, the Madhya Pradesh cabinet finally has its designated ministers, with the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan faction relenting Monday morning and allocating some of the key departments to loyalists of former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.
A total of 28 new ministers had joined the Chouhan cabinet on 2 July — 20 of cabinet rank and eight ministers of state. They have now all been allocated portfolios. The Madhya Pradesh cabinet strength is now 33.
Scindia loyalists have bagged plum portfolios such as revenue, health, energy, women and child, renewable energy, tourism and transport departments.
The chief minister’s faction has been allocated home, public works department, finance, medical education and mineral development. Chouhan has kept the general administration, public relations, Narmada valley development, aviation and some other departments with himself.
A key talking point is the allocation of the health ministry to Dr Prabhuram Choudhary, a Scindia loyalist, as it had been held by Narrotam Mishra, a close aide of Chouhan.
Sources said that the chief minister relented as at least 14 of the ministers, all Scindia loyalists, have to face bypolls.
The Scindia influence in the cabinet
Of the Scindia supporters, Dr Prabhuram Choudhary was given charge of the health and family welfare department, Pradyumna Singh Tomar got energy, Mahendra Singh Sisodia has been handed panchayat and rural development while Imarti Devi is now the women and child development minister, a post she held in the previous Kamal Nath government.
The faction also retained the revenue and transport portfolios, with both departments being held by Govind Singh. Singh, along with another Scindia loyalist, Tulsi Silawat, had been inducted into the cabinet in the first ‘mini expansion’ of the Chouhan ministry. Silawat has retained the water resources department.
The revenue department had been a bone of contention between both sides.
Sources said Shivraj was not inclined to give revenue to the Scindia camp but had to give in after the BJP high command intervened.
Among others of the Scindia camp, Rajyavardhan Singh Dattigaon has got industrial development, Bisahulal Singh has got food and civil supplies and consumer protection, Aidal Singh Kansana, public health engineering; Hardeep Singh Dang, new and renewable energy; Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon, industrial policy and investment promotion; Brajendra Singh Yadav, public health engineering; Girraj Dandotia, farmers welfare and agriculture development; Suresh Dhakad, public works department and OPS Bhadoria, urban administration and development.
Yadav, Dandotia, Dhakad and Bhadoria have been inducted as ministers of state (MoS).
Shivraj camp gets PWD, finance & public relations
In the Chouhan camp, senior BJP leader Narottam Mishra, who had to give up the health department, has retained home and been allocated law and parliamentary affairs, and jail administration.
Besides Gopal Bhargava got the public works department and rural industries; Vijay Shah, forest; Jagdish Devda, finance and commercial tax; Bhupendra Singh, urban administration and development; and Yashodhara Raje Scindia, sports and youth welfare.
Kamal Patel, who was inducted during the first expansion earlier, has retained farmers welfare and agriculture development departments.
Chouhan’s trusted aide, Vishwas Sarang, has got medical education along with Bhopal Gas rehabilitation while Brijendra Pratap has been handed mineral resources and labour.
Among the new faces, Usha Yadav has got tourism and culture while Mohan Yadav has higher education. Om Prakash Saklecha has got medium and small scale industries along with science and technology.