Bhopal, Dec 25: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath constituted his Council on Tuesday by inducting 28 members – all have been accorded Cabinet rank – including six erstwhile ministers.
As many as 22 legislators are first-time ministers and most of them are youthful. There are two ladies in the team.
Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oaths of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhavan. Among those present were Congress stalwart Jyotiraditya Scindia and the party’s state Media In-charge Shobha Ojha.
As the Assembly has 230 elected members, the Council’s maximum permissible strength – including the Chief Minister – is 35.
Ministers Vijaylaxmi Sadho, Sajjan Singh Verma, Hukum Singh Karada, Govind Singh, Bala Bachchan and Arif Aqueel served in the Digvijaya Singh Council.
Others granted berths were Brajendra Singh Rathore, Pradeep Jaiswal, Lakhan Singh Yadav, Tulsiram Silawat, Govind Singh Rajput, Imarti Devi, Omkar Singh Markam, Dr Prabhuram Choudhary, Priyavrat Singh, Sukhdev Panse, Umang Singhar, Harsh Yadav, Jaivardhan Singh, Jitu Patwari, Kamleshwar Patel, Lakhan Ghanghoriya, Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Pradhuman Singh Tomar, PC Sharma, Sachin Yadav, Tarun Bhanot and Surendra Singh Baghel.
Nath assumed office alone on December 17. It is believed that allocation of portfolios shall take place within two to three days.
Former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh’s son Jaivardhan Singh and ex-Deputy Chief Minister late Subhash Yadav’s son Sachin Yadav – the younger sibling of erstwhile Union Minister and Congress ex-state President Arun Yadav – are among the ministers.
Aqueel is the sole face from a minority community; Jaiswal, who was earlier in the Congress, emerged victorious as an Independent from Balaghat District’s Waraseoni defeating former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani who was contesting on a Congress ticket and GS Rajput is considered close to Scindia.
Singhar is the nephew of erstwhile Deputy Chief Minister late Jamuna Devi; Patwari is an emerging young firebrand of Malwa region; Patel is the son of former Education Minister Indrajeet Kumar Patel; Ghanghoriya and Bhanot represent Jabalpur District; Sharma vanquished the then Revenue Minister Uma Shankar Gupta in Bhopal Dakshina-Pashchim constituency. He served as Bhopal Development Authority Chairman when D Singh was Chief Minister.
Political analysts aver that the Chief Minister endeavoured to keep regional and caste balance in mind. It appears that greater representation was given to youthful leaders from areas where the Congress performed better in the Assembly elections. Many countenances are from Malwa, Nimar and Mahakoshal regions. Interestingly, not a single face is from the Chief Minister’s native district Chhindwara. (UNI)