As the Madhya Pradesh assembly election draws nearer, with just a span of three months, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is gearing up to bolster his cabinet on Thursday (24 August), aiming to quell internal dissent within the party's ranks.
As part of this cabinet expansion initiative, it is reported in Dainik Bhaskqar that four new ministers are expected to join the state's cabinet. However, only two names have been finalised till now.
Presently, Madhya Pradesh's cabinet comprises 30 ministers, leaving four positions vacant. The two anticipated final additions are Balaghat MLA Gauri Shankar Bisen, who serves as the Chairman of the MP Backward Commission, and Rajendra Shukla, an MLA from Rewa.
These incoming ministers will have a relatively brief window of approximately a month and a half to operate before the announcement of the election dates triggers the enforcement of the model code of conduct.
Despite previous appeals for cabinet expansion, the state government had been turning a deaf ear to these requests, as insiders have confirmed.
During discussions led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, concerns arose regarding the dissatisfaction expressed by certain senior party members who were excluded from the cabinet, sources reported.
In the lead-up to assembly elections in Karnataka, similar requests were made by some leaders, yet the party resisted such pressures, likely drawing from their experience in Karnataka where the BJP faced defeat.
The party is striving to evade such risks in Madhya Pradesh, where Shivraj Singh Chouhan contends with anti-incumbency sentiment, according to insiders.
Gauri Shankar Bisen, a prominent BJP leader and a seven-time MLA from Balaghat, is poised to be included in the cabinet. He has been vocal about his aspiration for a cabinet position.
Hailing from the Mahakaushal region, where Congress secured 24 seats in 2018 compared to BJP's 13 seats, Bisen's inclusion as a minister could aid the party in solidifying its presence in the region ahead of the election.
Rajendra Shukla, a four-time MLA from Rewa, represents the Vindhya region, which the BJP dominated in 2018 with a victory in 24 out of 30 seats.
Currently, the state cabinet features only one minister from the Vindhya region. With Shukla's inclusion, the party aims to address the demand for increased representation from this area.
Additional names under consideration for cabinet induction encompass Rahul Lodhi, the MLA from Khargapur, Lal Singh Arya, the MLA from Gohad of Bhind district and Jalam Singh Patel, the MLA from Narsingpur.
Lodhi is the nephew of former MP Chief Minister Uma Bharti, while Patel is the younger brother of Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel. Arya currently is the BJP National President of SC Morcha.
Furthermore, internal discussions within the party are ongoing regarding the inclusion of a tribal representative.
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