BHOPAL: With series of meetings between Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the central party leadership not leading to finalization of the list of names, suspense continues over whether the much awaited second cabinet expansion of the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh happens on Tuesday or not.
The MP CM who is in Delhi since Sunday has been holding meetings with top leadership of the party, including national president JP Nadda, union home minister Amit Shah. He also met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
Chouhan also met with Jyotiraditya Scindia and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar over the second cabinet expansion. With both Scindia and Tomar, being major leaders from Gwalior-Chambal region and 16 of the 24 future bulk assembly polls happening in the same region, the two meetings assumed major significance.
Besides, Chouhan, the MP BJP president VD Sharma and state’s general secretary (organization) Suhas Bhagat also were present in meetings with the national party president.
In a dramatic development, meanwhile, on Monday, the MP home and Health Minister Narottam Mishra (second in command in the present council of ministers) also reached Delhi, cancelling his visit from Gwalior to Bhopal – adding another dimension to the ongoing MP-centric political activities in Delhi.
While the official sources in Bhopal continued to maintain that there was still possibility of 22-25 ministers (including eight to nine from Scindia camp) being sworn in later on Tuesday evening. But informed sources within the saffron party said the lack of consensus between state leaders and those in Delhi over some names in the list of possible ministers will result in the expansion being deferred till Wednesday.
Sources said that some central leaders are particularly concerned over many faces getting repeated in every council of ministers headed by Chouhan, while the leaders from Gwalior and Chambal too are yet to come to a consensus on names from that region.
Meanwhile, the UP Governor Anandiben Patel, who has been rendered additional charge of MP (owing to hospitalization of present MP Governor Lalji Tandon) was slated to arrive in Bhopal on Monday, but the visit was cancelled.
The last expansion of the Chouhan government happened on April 21, when five ministers (three core BJP leaders and two from Scindia camp were inducted in the cabinet.