Bhopal: It is now clear that parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra would not be able to attend the monsoon session of the House.
Mishra is holding the charge of parliamentary affairs for past eight years and as such, his absence from the House will be a source of discomfort for CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Against this backdrop, many ministers have joined the race to prove their mettle before the chief minister. Mishra also holds the water resources and public relations departments. Some ministers are eyeing these departments also.
Revenue minister Umashankar Gupta has become ultra active. He has been told to take care of parliamentary affairs department in the absence of Mishra. He was seen managing things during the polling for the Presidential elections too. Before entering the council of ministers, Gupta was spokesperson for the BJP. He is also in the race for replacing Mishra as spokesperson for the government.
Minister of state for co-operatives (independent charge) Vishwas Sarang has also got cracking. He wants to display his performance in the House. He is interested in the PR department.
Finance minister Jayant Mallaiya might be publicly defending the right of Narottam Mishra to continue in the ministry despite EC disqualification, but he is also interested in water resources department, which was held by him earlier. Mallaiya has been briefing the media on the cabinet meetings in the absence of Mishra.
Forest minister Gaurishankar Shejwar is also taking pains to demonstrate his legislative skills. He is considered a good orator. He has come quite close to the chief minister during the Narmada Yatra and he wants to take advantage of that in the changed circumstances.
Rampal Singh, who is considered closest to the CM among the ministers, is also eyeing the departments held by Mishra. He is sick of the bureaucrats posted in PWD, which he presently holds. He also wants to take advantage of his proximity with Singh.