Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said he would expand his five-member cabinet "shortly".
The BJP leader was sworn-in as chief minister on March 23 and he expanded his cabinet nearly a month later, on April 21, by inducting five ministers, including Congress rebels Tulsi Silawat and Govind Rajput, considered close to ex-Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is now in the party.
"The cabinet would be expanded shortly," Chouhan told reporters while replying to a query. He, however, did not provide details.
According to party sources, Chouhan held parleys with Madhya Pradesh BJP chief VD Sharma and state unit organisation secretary Suhas Bhagat over cabinet expansion in the last two days and forwarded a list of probables to the central leadership.
The central leadership would take the final call, a BJP source said.
According to the sources, 22 to 24 new members may find a place in the Chouhan ministry.
Around 10 Congress rebels out of 22, including four former ministers Prabhuram Choudhary, Imarti Devi, Mahendra Singh Sisodia and Pradyumna Singh Tomar, may be accommodated in the Council of Ministers, they said.
Resignations of these rebel Congress MLAs, considered close to Scindia, who joined the BJP in March, had led to the collapse of the Kamal Nath government three months ago.
All these rebels had later joined the BJP following into the footsteps of Scindia.
Other Congress rebels like Bisahulal Singh, Aidal Singh Kansana, Hardeep Singh Dangh, Rajyavardhan Singh and Ranveer Jatav are also being seen as strong contenders for ministerial berths, the sources said.
Former ministers and senior BJP MLAs Gopal Bhargava, Bhupendra Singh and Yasodhara Raje Scindia, among others, are also expected to find their way into the cabinet, they said.
After 22 Congress rebel MLAs resigned from the assembly membership, the 15-month-old party-led government was reduced to a minority. The development forced Kamal Nath to resign as chief minister on March 20.
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