Around 20 to 25 new members, including some former Congress MLAs who joined the BJP in March, are likely to be inducted in Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's cabinet in its second round of expansion that is expected soon, sources in the ruling party said on Monday.
As per the sources, 14 to 15 BJP MLAs and around nine former Congress legislators, who joined the saffron party in March, are likely to get ministerial berths.
Chouhan flew to New Delhi on Sunday to hold consultations with the central BJP leadership over the much- talked about cabinet expansion, they said.
Chouhan last week said the expansion of the state cabinet will take place soon.
The initial 'mini' expansion of the cabinet took place on April 21 with the induction of five ministers, nearly a month after Chouhan took oath as the chief minister for a record fourth term.
Among these five ministers, two were former Congress MLAs.
The BJP came to power in March after Kamal Nath resigned as chief minister following rebellion by nearly two dozen MLAs of the Congress.
Most of these rebel MLAs were considered close to former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP more than three months ago.
Meanwhile, according to Rajya Bhavan's sources, the visit of Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, who has been given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh, to Bhopal on Monday has been postponed.
Some old names have also been dropped after brainstorming with top BJP leaders in Bhopal. But, the national leadership will take a final decision on that. As per the discussion, former ministers Gopal Bhargava, Bhupendra Singh, Rampal Singh, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Rajendra Shukla, Gourishankar Bisen, Jagdish Deora, Girish Gautam or Kedar Shukla may get a berth in the cabinet from Vindhya region.
MLAs Sanjay Pathak, Arvind Bhadoria, Rameshwar Sharma, and Vishwas Sarang are also expected to get a berth in the cabinet, which played a key role during Operation Lotus. Usha Thakur or Ramesh Mendola can stand from Indore. Apart from this, Lalluram Vaishya, Nina Verma, Ramkhilavan Patel, Prem Singh Patel, Surendra Patel and former minister Harishankar Khatik are also in the list of contenders.
From Scindia camp, Imrati Devi, Pradyuman Singh Tomar, Mahendra Singh Sisodia, and Prabhuram Chaudhary are fixed, as these people were also ministers in the past. Apart from this, Rajyavardhan Singh Dattigaon, Ranveer Singh Jatav, Bisahulal Singh, Aindal Singh Kanshana and Hardeep Singh Dung are also contenders.