Cabinet Expansion In Madhya Pradesh Likely Tomorrow

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New Delhi:

An expansion of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav’s cabinet is likely tomorrow. Preparations have started at the Raj Bhavan for the oath ceremony that is likely at 3.30 pm, sources said. A final call on names is likely to be taken this evening by  a four-member team that includes the party’s senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, Prahlad Singh Patel, Rakesh Singh and Gopal Bhargava.

Earlier, discussions about cabinet formation were going on at the residence of the party’s national president, Jagat Prakash Nadda.

Mr Yadav had taken the oath of office on December 13. Rajendra Shukla and Jagdish Devda — the party’s Brahmin and Scheduled Caste faces — had taken oath with him.

The BJP, which won a massive victory in the state amid a buzz of anti-incumbency, has its task cut out, balancing the caste equation between tribals and Other backward Classes whose support enabled the party to ratchet up its numbers. Representation also has to be given to Brahmins, Rajputs, Jains and Gujjars.

There is also the question of walking a fine line between the loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Sources said the Chief Minister — a member of Other Backward Classes — has listed the names, most of whom are fresh faces. The list was to be finalised after two to three rounds of meetings.

A chunk of the names are from Gujjar, Rajput, tribal and OBC communities. Three of the prospective candidates are from among  Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists, a few are loyalists of Mr Chouhan.

The BJP had pulled off a stupendous victory in Madhya Pradesh earlier this month, winning 163 of the state’s 230 seats, reducing the Congress to 66.  

Mohan Yadav — the Higher Education minister under the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government — is considered close to the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and is a member of the Other Backward Classes which comprise over 48 per cent of the state’s population.

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