The much awaited cabinet expansion in Madhya Pradesh that was due since CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath on March 23 finally took place on Thursday at the Raj Bhawan in Bhopal.
A total of 20 cabinet ministers and eight ministers of state took oath on Thursday. Five cabinet ministers had been sworn in on April 21, taking the toll number of ministers in the cabinet to 33.
Big takeaways from the expansion:
1. The Gwalior-Chambal region has been overtly represented with 11 ministers inducted from the region. Sixteen of the 24 Madhya Pradesh assembly seats where by-elections are due are from this region.
2. All other regions in Madhya Pradesh, namely Mahakoshal, Malwa, Baghelkhand and Bundelkhand have been underrepresented.
3. Of the 22 Congress MLAs who joined BJP, a total of 14 have been inducted as ministers. Of these, 10 are cabinet ministers and four are ministers of state. Nearly half the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet is from a Congress background.
4. A total of 11 ministers owe allegiance to former Congress veterean Jyotiraditya Scindia, who toppled the Kamal Nath government and joined BJP. Three other ex-Congress MLAs, Bisahulal Singh, Aidal Singh Kansana and Hardeep Singh Dang who are not from the Scindia camp have also been inducted.
5. Jyotiraditya Scindia has been successful in driving a hard bargain with the BJP. While in the Congress he had six loyalists as ministers in the Kamal Nath cabinet, in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet, he has 11.
6. In a bid to give more representation to Scindia and to the Gwalior Chambal region, caste representation has also gone for a toss in this government.
7. The 33-member cabinet has eight Thakurs, three Brahmins, one Jain, one Kayastha, one Sikh, one Maratha among the non-reserved categories. Thakurs are overtly represented in the cabinet as they are only 4-5% of the population in Madhya Pradesh but have more than 20 percent in the cabinet. Brahmins also comprise 4-5% of the population in the state but have been represented proportionately. However, the number of Brahmin ministers is much less than the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinets.
8. The business community or Banias and Jains long been considered supporters of the BJP and its earlier avatar (the Jan Sangh), but have only one representative in the form of Omprakash Saklecha, the son of former CM VK Saklecha.
9. There are only four ministers from the tribal community whereas tribals comprise 21% of population in Madhya Pradesh. There are four ministers from the Scheduled Caste community even though SCs comprise 10% of the population in the state.
10. A number of prominent faces that were part of the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet were dropped in order to accommodate the Scindia group. Those who could not make it include Rampal Singh, Rajendra Shukla, Surendra Patwa, Sanjay Pathak, Gaurishankar Bisen and Paras Jain.
20 Cabinet Ministers inducted on July 2:
Gopal Bhargava, Vijay Shah, Jagdish Devda, Bisahulal Singh, Yashodhara Raje, Bhupendra Singh, Aidal Singh Kansana, Brijendra Pratap Singh, Vishwas Sarang, Imarti Devi, Prabhuram Chaudhry, Mahendra Singh Sisodia, Pradyuman Singh Tomar, Prem Singh Patel, Omprakash Saklecha, Usha Thakur, Arvind Bhadoria, Mohan Singh Yadav, Hardeep Singh Dang and Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon.
List of 8 Ministers of State:
Bharat Singh Kushwaha, Inder Singh Parmar, Ramkhilawan Patel, Ramkishore Kawre, Brajendra Singh Yadav, Giriraj Dandotiya, Suresh Dhakad and OPS Bhadoria.