By Sandeep Pauranik
Bhopal, July 7 (IANS) The Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet in Madhya Pradesh has been expanded, but the issue of portfolio distribution is still unresolved. Now, it has been learnt that it is the central BJP leadership which will decide who gets what in Madhya Pradesh.
It has been five days since the Chouhan cabinet was expanded, but the exercise of portfolio distribution is still going on. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has been shuttling between Bhopal and Delhi for quite sometime, met all the top leaders in Delhi for two days and discussed the distribution of portfolios with the central leadership.
On July 2, a total of 28 new ministers were inducted in the council of ministers, including 12 from Jyotiraditya Scindia’s camp. Of the 22 Congress MLAs who resigned from the Congress to join the BJP, 14 are now ministers.
Sources have said that Scindia has been demanding independent charge for the ministers of state and has put forth a proposal to the central BJP leadership to allot plum portfolios to his loyalists.
Sources also added that if the party agrees to Scindia’s demand, no minister will have two portfolios as there are only 34 departments in the state.
A meeting was held on Monday night between Madhya Pradesh BJP in-charge Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Scindia amidst the ongoing race for allocation of portfolios. The two leaders also believed to have discussed the strategy for the by-elections for 24 assembly seats to be held soon.
Sahasrabuddhe said that a meeting with Scindia was held at his residence to discuss by-elections and other political issues of the state.
BJP sources said that the Chief Minister has submitted a list of possible portfolios of ministers to BJP President J.P. Nadda. The list will be discussed between Nadda and General Secretary (Organization) B.L. Santhosh and only then a final decision is likely to be taken. The announcement of portfolios of ministers is expected anytime by late Tuesday evening.
Sources say that the Scindia camp has been insisting on getting departments like Rural Development, Panchayats, Women and Child Development, Irrigation, Home, Transport, Public Relations and Food Supply. The party is considering these demands.
The BJP government was formed in March after toppling the Kamal Nath government with 22 of the Congress MLAs breaking away along with Scindia to suppport the BJP. Out of the 22 MLAs, who have to seek re-election now, 14 have been made ministers. Now the churning is going on for the portfolio distribution.