Bhopal: With elections scheduled for later this year in Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has expanded his cabinet. The chief minister included 3 more MLAs in his cabinet on Saturday. These three MLAs took the ministerial oath today at a function in the Raj Bhavan.
Prior to this expansion, the state ministry had 31 members, including the CM. As per constitutional norms, the number can go up to 35, which is 15 percent of the strength of the MP assembly which has 230 members. The last expansion of Shivraj Chouhan’s cabinet took place in January 2021.
#WATCH | Bhopal | MLA from Balaghat constituency Gaurishankar Bisen, MLA from Rewa Rajendra Shukla & MLA from Khargapur Rahul Lodhi sworn in as ministers in the Madhya Pradesh cabinet in the presence of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan & Governor Mangubhai Patel at the Raj Bhavan. pic.twitter.com/kWYaGG8dId
— ANI MP/CG/Rajasthan (@ANI_MP_CG_RJ) August 26, 2023
The MP Chief Minister who is serving his fourth term as Chief Minister and is the longest-serving Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh is looking to balance caste equations and address regional aspirations with this expansion ahead of the State polls.
Rajendra Shukla, a 4 time MLA from Rewa Constituency in the Vindh region is one of the new ministers. Shukla earlier served as the minister of Commerce in the Madhya Pradesh Government.
Gaurishankar Bisen a Rajput leader from Balaghar Constituency Mahakoshal region who had earlier served under Shivraj Chouhan as a minister is the second new name in the cabinet.
OBC leader Rahul Lodhi from Kharagpur has also been included in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet, OBC’s form nearly 40% of the state’s population. He was elected to the Damoh Constituency in a by-poll in May 2021.
Madhya Pradesh is among the five states where assembly elections are to be held later this year to elect 230 members of the state.
Recently, the BJP released its first list of 39 candidates for the 230-seat state assembly. After which the prominent leaders seeking tickets from the party have intensified their preparations to showcase their hold in their respective constituencies.
In the 2018 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Congress emerged as the single largest party with 114 seats and BJP got 109 seats.
However, in 2020, the Congress government lost the majority followed by the resignations of some MLAs. After this, the BJP formed the government in the state and Shivraj Singh Chouhan was reinstated as the Chief Minister.