BHOPAL: A ministry expansion may take place after the budget session of the House. A legislator from Rewa, Rajendra Shukla, is likely to be inducted into the cabinet. Apart from Shukla, two other law-makers may be included in the ministry. They are Ramesh Mendola and Harishanker Khatik. Girish Gautam is becoming a power centre in the Vindhya region after he has been made House Speaker. Rajendra Shukla has been the most powerful leader of the BJP in the Vindhya region till the party returned to power.

He is very popular there. Against this backdrop, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as well as Rashtriya Sayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) does not want to lower Shukla's stature. As the BJP won most of the seats from Vindhya region, it does not want to get into trouble in the ensuing local bodies' elections by ignoring the region. Chouhan and the party organisation have discussed about inducting Shukla into the ministry to maintain a power balance in Vindhya politics. For that reason, Shukla, along with three other legislators, may be administered oath as ministers after the House session. There are 31 members, including the Chief Minister, in the House. Four berths are still lying vacant. Therefore, two of them may be immediately filled in. According to sources in the BJP, the leaders in the state organisation of the party have reached an accord on the issue. Now, the state leadership is waiting for its central unit's nod for it. Once the green signal comes from the central leadership, the ministry will be expanded.

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