Shivraj Singh Chouhan finally goes for Delhi visit, MP cabinet expansion soon

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday finally made his much anticipated trip to Delhi- after a gap of almost 120 days- to discuss the modalities of the impending cabinet formation in the state.

The CM was accompanied by state BJP President VD Sharma and general secretary (organisation) Suhas Bhagat when he left for Delhi on Sunday evening by a government aircraft.

While in Delhi, the trio are expected to meet top BJP leaders including party president JP Nadda, national general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh, Narendra Singh Tomar, Jyotiraditya Scindia and possibly even Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, besides RSS brass to discuss the formation of a full cabinet in the state.

“The cabinet will be formed after I meet senior BJP leaders in Delhi,” CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan earlier told India Today.

Madhya Pradesh has been functioning with a truncated cabinet of five members since April 21. The much awaited expansion has not been able to take place owing to pulls and pressures from within the BJP and threats of cross voting in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha elections.

The crux of the matter, causing the delay in the expansion, according to political observers is the inability of the chief minister for being able to induct his loyalists in the cabinet, in the form of Rajendra Shukla and Bhupendra Singh.

Ten slots in the cabinet are expected to go to former Congress MLAs who had resigned to join the BJP, paving the way for the fall of Kamal Nath government. A total of 22 Congress MLAs had resigned on March 10 to reduce the Kamal Nath government in MP into a minority.

Negotiations in Delhi are expected to be tough with sources suggesting the Sangh asserting itself through the state BJP president VD Sharma to get in its nominees in the cabinet.

As per the schedule, Shivraj Singh Chouhan is expected to return to Bhopal on Monday evening. If negotiations conclude satisfactorily, Madhya Pradesh could have a full cabinet of 30-34 ministers by the first week of July.

Presently, MP governor Lalji Tandon is also in Lucknow, recuperating at a hospital after a surgery. The charge of MP governor is likely to be given to a governor of a neighbouring state to administer the oath of office and secrecy to the newly inducted ministers.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as CM for the fourth time on March 23 and ran a government without a cabinet till April 21- for 29 days resulting in a record of sorts. On April 21,…

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