It is nearly three weeks since Shivraj Singh Chouhan assumed office as chief minister in Madhya Pradesh displacing veteran Congressman Kamal Nath who lost majority in the Assembly in the wake of defections but there is no signs of his cabinet.
The State is reeling under the onslaught of COVID-19 but there is no minister to deal with the medical crisis even as cases are increasing and have crossed the 400 mark with State capital Bhopal reporting 94 cases and Indore 213. Fresh cases have also been reported from Dewas, Dhar, Betul, Hoshangabad, Shajapur, Sheopur and Raisen.
Reports say Chouhan, a workaholic, has been conducting field visits, addressing field officers, devising strategy with his core team of officers, and conversing with the public through video addresses. His Twitter handle has remained active with information and important advisories. As earlier in the case of Karnataka where Yeddiyurappa was waiting for long for his list of ministers to be cleared by the party high command, MP is no different.
This is reminiscent of the Congress culture where the high command called all the shots and was the butt of criticism for its overbearing ways. Chouhan indicated to journalists that the high command has said that the cabinet expansion will take place after the lockdown caused by COVID-19 is lifted. It is indeed strange that such a crucial decision on the day-today running of the State should have to wait for so long due to the lockdown.
Evidently, the real reason would be that with the heightened clamour for ministerial posts, there is no time for the party bigwigs to deal with the ambitions of defector-legislators. This is unfortunate that people’s representatives hanker for positions of power so brazenly and unabashedly. That a chief minister cannot decide on who he wants in his cabinet is also a blot on BJP’s functioning.