Jyotiraditya Scindia is credited for engineering the BJP's return to power in the state after a gap of 15 months in March this year.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday expanded his cabiney by inducting 28 new ministers, nearly three months after his return to the top post. He now heads a 33-member Cabinet of which five were administered oath in April.
Of the 28 members who took oath today, 9 are party’s Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists. Scindia is credited for engineering the BJP’s return to power in the state after a gap of 15 months in March this year. In total, Scindia now has 11 of his supporters in the state Cabinet that has 34 members including the Chief Minister.
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The BJP’s decision to give Scindia a handsome representation in the state Cabinet has triggered talks about who gets the final say in matters of importance.
READ MORE: Madhya Pradesh Cabinet Ministers List 2020
When Shivraj was asked about the massive representation given to Scindia in the Cabinet, he evaded a direct reply. “Everyone is under the Bharatiya Janata Party. Everyone here is a worker of the BJP. Many of them have become ministers today. Different responsibilities are given to different friends from time to time. A few have been given ministerial responsibilities, others will also be given different responsibilities,” Shivraj told reporters outside the Raj Bhawan in Bhopal.
To a question whether the upcoming bypolls to 24 seats were taken into consideration before finalising the names, he said, “Not the byelections, but the people have been made ministers for the development of Madhya Pradesh.”
“The whole Madhya Pradesh is one,” he added.
Although Jyotiraditya Scindia lost the traditional Guna seat in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he has a strong dominance in the Gwalior-Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh. Majority of the 24 seats where bypolls will be held soon fall in the region.
The BJP has 107 MLAs in the 230-member Legislative Assembly that has an effective strength of 206. It also claims to enjoy the support of 6 more which includes two BSP MLAs and 1 SP’s. This BJP is still behind the magic number of 116 and it doesn;t want to take any risk that would hurt its prospects of gaining majority on its own. The Congress has 92 MLAs and enjoys the support of an independent.