Indore: With speculations rife that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is likely to form Cabinet soon, names of probable candidates for ministerial positions have started doing the rounds from across the state.
Some names from Indore are also in discussion. For Tulsi Silawat, who joined BJP recently following the footsteps of his political guru Jyotiraditya Scindia, a ministerial berth is almost certain, and the speculations are mainly on the names of three other probable candidates.
They are Indore-2 MLA Ramesh Mendola, Indore-4 MLA Malini Gaud and Mhow MLA Usha Thakur.
Though all three are considered to be in the race for ministerial positions, all three can’t be obliged because of political compulsions, and therefore equations have got interesting in Indore.
Mendola, a loyalist of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, is stated to be front runner for the ministerial position from the city but Gaud who is close to the chief minister is not far behind.
Having to her credit the distinction of getting Indore cleanest city tag for three times in a row, Gaud proved her efficiency at the national level. But can that along with support of Chouhan fetch her a ministerial position? Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan could also put her weight behind Gaud, if the situation for the same arises, believe political pundits.
However, Mahajan is believed to be more inclined towards Mhow MLA Usha Thakur, who is close to RSS.
Many political pundits believe that Mahajan may seek a place in the Cabinet for Thakur, a three-time MLA who never lost an election even though her constituency was changed.
But many doubt that Mahajan would have a say in the selection process given her ‘retirement’ from mainstream electoral politics after she crossed the age of 75.
So all eyes will be on Vijayvargiya whose recommendations is likely to be given prominence for at least one ministerial berth from Indore. As his son Akash is a first time MLA, Vijayvargiya’s choice in all likelihood for ministerial post could be Mendola.
But political equations may force BJP to go for more than two ministers from Indore this time.
The Congress led government had made three ministers from Indore – Jitu Patwari, Sajjan Singh Verma and Silwat. BJP may follow the Congress and make three ministers from the State’s commercial capital. If that happens, Silawat and Mendola’s name be certain for ministerial position. And the third one could either be Gaud or Thakur.
But if only two candidates were picked up from Indore for ministerial berth, the first one will be Silawat for sure but the second one will not necessarily be Mendola. The saffron party may go for Gaud or Thakur also.
“The equations of Indore for BJP have been very complex. It has never been easy to pick up candidates for minister position. The complexity could be understood from the fact that nobody was included in Shivraj’s last Cabinet after Vijayvargiya resigned as minister to take up responsibility at the national level,” said a senior BJP leader wishing anonymity.