The much-awaited expansion of the single-member Madhya Pradesh cabinet took place on Tuesday after 5 MLAs took oath as ministers in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. The oath was administered by Governor Lalji Tandon. The five MLAs who took oath as ministers in the Shivraj Singh government include BJP leaders Narottam Mishra, Kamal Patel, Meena Singh, Tulsi Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput. The cabinet expansion ceremony took place in Bhopal.
Madhya Pradesh cabinet has not been expanded since Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as chief minister for the fourth time on March 23, after
his predecessor Kamal Nath of the Congress stepped down. Kamal Nath had resigned as Madhya Pradesh CM after 22 MLAs rebelled against the government while majority of them who were with Jyotiraditya Scindia switched over to BJP. Meanwhile, ever since the formation of the new government, Chouhan could not get time to set up the council of ministers amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“Since March 23, Chouhan was serving as the lone member of Cabinet for the 28 days, which is a record of sorts in the country,” BJP said. Opposition Congress has been slamming Chouhan and the BJP over absence of council of ministers at a time when the state is battling surge in COVID-19 cases.
Senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha on Monday petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind, arguing that Chouhan government in its current format is unconstitutional. They also slammed absence of a full-time Health minister in Madhya Pradesh amidst the coronavirus crisis.