No consensus yet on MP ministry list, Chouhan camps on in Delhi


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Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is stuck in Delhi along with key BJP leaders from Madhya Pradesh as last minute permutations have delayed consensus on the final list of expanded ministry.

After several rounds of consultations with the party bigwigs, Chouhan seems to be hamstrung due to the Central leadership's refusal to clear some names he proposed. He had flown to Delhi on Sunday along with state party President V.D. Sharma and the RSS point-person for the state Suhas Bhagat.

He met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, party chief J.P. Nadda, and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. He also called on former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was to visit Bhopal on Tuesday for the possible swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers. Scindia has put off the Bhopal visit, leading to doubts over his clearance to the final list.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, who was to come to Bhopal on Monday to take up the additional charge of the state due to the illness of incumbent Lalji Tandon, has also stayed back in Lucknow in the absence of a clear picture over the ministry expansion.

For the past one month, media has been speculating over the date of cabinet expansion. "If all reports were to be believed, there should have been ten swearing in ceremonies of the MP ministry by now," said a BJP leader jokingly. The party is in turmoil over the expansion because it will end up with many dissenters if it fulfils the promises made to Scindia who joined the BJP with his flock of 22 MLAs in March.

The BJP has had trouble over the changing equations among the original members of the party. Amit Shah is said to have been upset with Chouhan who had tapped his connections with the top leadership in the RSS to get the state president Rakesh Singh replaced. The Sangh has been instrumental in getting V.D. Sharma as the state president and in anointing Chouhan as Chief Minister.

Chouhan's second in command Narottam Mishra who holds the key departments of home and health in the corona times was called to Delhi twice and has been part of the brain storming sessions of the ministry expansion. Mishra's own ambitions fawned by the central leadership have added to the party's problems within 100 days of assuming power.

Chouhan, who was to address the media on Monday evening in the MP Bhawan in Delhi, called of the programme.

With no word about any further discussion on the list of ministers, there is suspense over possible time and date of swearing in ceremony. According to earlier information, the 25 new ministers to be added to the council would include nine from the Scindia camp and 16 from the original members of the BJP.

The party was keen to get the new ministers sworn in by July 1 before "chaaturmaas" begins. Some auspicious events are kept in abeyance during the period according to the faithful.

Source: IANS

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