Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has called the last cabinet meeting of his fourth term in office tomorrow (on Thursday) at 11.15 am at Vallabh Bhawan. Along with all the ministers, senior officials have also been called to the cabinet meeting which apparently has no agenda. The opposition Congress party has raised questions regarding the sudden meeting three days ahead of the state assembly election results.
Former minister and Congress leader PC Sharma alleged that this as an attempt by BJP to influence vote counting. “The purpose of calling a meeting without an agenda is that the situation is bad. How to put pressure on officers and employees? BJP can use pressure to influence the counting of votes,” he said.
Highlighting the alleged Balaghat postal ballot tampering case, Sharma further said, “In Balaghat, they are trying to rig the postal ballot by sorting it before the date. Government employees have not voted for BJP, hence officials are alert. However, they will not be able to do anything. Our agents are on alert 24 hours in the strong room.”
10 years since cabinet met ahead of vote count
Notably, there has been no cabinet meeting in the last 10 years barely 3 days before counting of votes. While the Model Code of Conduct is in force, the Chief Minister can call a cabinet meeting, but cannot take any policy decision. Hence, there are speculations that the meeting has been called regarding the departure of Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains. Bains’ term of second extension is ending on November 30.
Iqbal Singh Bains (L) And Veera Rana (R) |
Veera Rana may be new CS
After Bains is retired, Veera Rana may take over as the new chief secretary as she is the senior most officer in the state after Bains.
An IAS officer of the 1988 batch, Veera Rana is the president of Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education. Since the Election Code of Conduct is in force in the state, the Election Commission itself has to approve the appointment of CS. The Commission has indicated that till the formation of the new government, a senior officer may get the charge of CS on the basis of seniority.