By Sandeep Pauranik
With the discussions on the expansion of the council of ministers in Madhya Pradesh in the final stages, it could take place in the next one or two days, sources in the ruling BJP said on Monday.
Efforts were on to get 25 new public representatives sworn in as ministers as early as Monday or Tuesday, including 16 from the BJP and nine from the camp of BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had switched loyalties from the Congress to the BJP, the sources added.
It would be the second expansion of the council of ministers in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, which again came to power in the state over three months ago. At present, apart from Chouhan, there are five ministers in the state.
The Assembly session is slated to be held in July and as per constitutional requirements, a minimum of 12-member council of ministers has to be in place by then.
The sources said that Chouhan is already in Delhi along with Madhya Pradesh BJP chief Vishnu Dutt Sharma and organisation general secretary Suhas Bhagat.
The sources said that the state BJP leadership has already held discussions with the party central leaders on the issue, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president JP Nadda and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
Chouhan and others could also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Scindia on the issue, the sources revealed.
The talks on likely expansion of the council of ministers have gained currency after Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel was given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh as well since state Governor Lalji Tandon is presently unwell.
Political analyst Shiv Anurag Pateria said that expansion of the council of ministers was necessary for the BJP not only to fulfill a constitutional obligation but also to prevent sending out a message of political betrayal to Congress MLAs who joined the BJP along with Scindia.