Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday allocated portfolios to new ministers, eleven days after the expansion of the state council of ministers. Predictably, the new star of the party Jyotiraditya Scindia managed to get key departments for his supporters.
The 28 new ministers who joined the Chouhan cabinet on July 2 included 20 of the cabinet rank and eight ministers of state. The strength of the ministry is now 34, including four women.
Scindia's top loyalist Tulsi Silawat retained the water resources department. The others in the camp have been handed revenue, transport, health, women and child development, industries, water resources, food and civil supplies and public health engineering.
The original BJP claimants did manage to get significant departments like Home, Finance, Urban Administration, Public Works Department, Agriculture, Cooperatives, Higher and Technical Education, Mineral Resources, and Forest. Despite this, the original claimants still have some resentment. The grassroots worker has lost out to the new poster boys, said a local leader.
Five ministers -- three of the original BJP cadre and two of the Scindia camp -- were already working, and with the addition of 28 new ministers there is now a total of 33 ministers in the state with the Chief Minister.
Chief Minister Chouhan will hold all those departments which have not been allocated so far, including general administration, public relations, civil aviation, and Narmada Valley development.
Among the existing ministers, Narottam Mishra has retained his home portfolio and additionally got the Legislative affairs, but the Health Department has been taken away from him and given to Prabhuram Choudhary of the Scindia camp. Kamal Patel has retained Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare and Meena Singh gets the SC/ST welfare.