Bhopal: The coronavirus outbreak might have affected the size of Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet but it has a balance of regional, political and casteist factors. There are five ministers in the cabinet who represent different regions and castes.
Chouhan was sworn in as the Chief Minister on March 23 following the collapse of the Congress government. But due to the coronavirus spread, the formation of the cabinet was postponed. During this period, speculation about the cabinet continued.
There was also a need to induct the leaders who came into the BJP leaving the Congress. Therefore, the cabinet was formed 29 days later. The balance of regional, political and casteist equations is clearly visible in this small cabinet.
The five leaders who took oath on Tuesday include Narottam Mishra, Tulsiram Silavat, Govind Singh Rajput, Meena Singh and Kamal Patel. All of them come from different regions and castes. Narottam Mishra represents the Brahmin community and hails from the Gwalior-Chambal region. He has been elected MLA for the fifth time and has previously been in the Babulal Gaur and pre-election Shivraj cabinets.
The other powerful minister is Tulsiram Silavat, who has been an MLA from Sanware in Indore. He comes from Malwa region and is considered a Jyotiraditya Scindia supporter. He is a fourth-term MLA and a representative of the Scheduled Castes. Silavat was the Health Minister in the previous Kamal Nath government.
Kamal Patel is the big face of the backward classes. He is an MLA from Harda and hails from Nimand region and has been elected an MLA for the fifth time. He has also served in the previous cabinets of Uma Bharti and Shivraj Singh.
Govind Singh Rajput, who has been made a minister in the new Shivraj government, has been an MLA from Surkhi Assembly constituency in Sagar district. He hails from Bundelkhand region and is considered pro-Scindia. He has become an MLA for the third time and belongs to the Kshatriya community. He was the Transport Minister in the Congress’ Kamal Nath government.
The BJP’s tribal face and female representative Meena Singh, a legislator from Manpur, has also been inducted. She is a fifth-time MLA and belongs to Vindhya and Mahakaushal region. Prior to this, she has been a Minister of State.
The new cabinet takes special care of the regional and casteist equations. Also, there was a focus on strengthening political equations. This is the reason that three out of the five ministers are existing BJP members while two are those who recently joined the party. Both of them are close to former Union minister and ‘Maharaj’ Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP for ‘public service’. (IANS)