As the second phase of the lockdown was about to end on May 3, exercises for expanding the cabinet began during the past two days. Nevertheless, the Central Government’s decision to extend it for two weeks more has put the ruling party in a dilemma over the proposed cabinet expansion.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met Governor Lalji Tandon on Friday and discussed with him about the cabinet expansion.
Tandon gave guidelines to Chouhan over how to expand cabinet amidst spread of the corona pandemic.
The Central Government, in the meantime, extended the lockdown period for two weeks more. For that reason, exercises have begun afresh for expanding the cabinet.
Chouhan has already assured the legislators who have been deprived of the ministerial berths that they will be inducted into the cabinet.
The problem before the ruling party is to pacify those legislators.
Now, Chouhan is trying to find out a way to expand his cabinet during the lockdown.
The BJP with the former Congress legislators who have crossed over to the BJP is mounting pressure on the chief minister for cabinet expansion.
To expand cabinet, Chouhan has already discussed with the leaders of the state and central units of the party.
Chouhan has also discussed about it with former MP Jyotiraditya Scindia. According sources in the BJP, the cabinet may be expanded before May 10.
New faces may be seen in cabinet
New faces from the BJP may be seen in the cabinet. Instead of taking some of the legislators who were in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s previous cabinet, some new faces may be inducted into the ministry.
Former leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava may be made Speaker of the House. Bhupendra Singh, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Arvind Bhadauria, Sanjay Pathak, Vishwash Sarang, Ramesh Mendola, Neena Verma, Gopeelal Jatav and Kedar Shukla may be inducted into the cabinet. Out of Scindia supporters, former ministers Imarti Devi, Pradyumnya Singh Tomar, Mahendra Sisodia and Prabhuram Choudhary are all set to become ministers. Besides them, Bisahulal Singh, Rajyawardhan Singh, Hardeep Singh Dang, Aindal Singh Kansana and a few other legislators may be made ministers. BSP legislator Sanjeev Kushwaha may also be included in the cabinet.