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Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:53:29 PM, Pervez Bari

MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan

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Bhopal: Some of the former tainted ministerial colleagues of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), ruled Madhya Pradesh, who had to part ways in the earlier tenure due to corruption charges, have once again got berth in his ministry.


Nine new ministers were inducted in the ministry while one minister of state was elevated to cabinet rank here Wednesday evening in Raj Bhawan. The Madhya Pradesh Governor Rameshwar Thakur administered oath of office and secrecy to the new entrants of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan ministry.


Six ministers are of Cabinet rank while the rest four are Ministers of State. The new Cabinet ministers are: former Union Health Minister Sartaj Singh and former Ministers Narottam Mishra, Ajay Vishnoi, Vijay Shah and Umashankar Gupta and the elevated minster is Karan Singh Verma. The  four ministers of state appointed are: Brijendra Pratap Singh, Nana Mahod, Mahendra Hardia and Manohar Untwal.


Meanwhile, MLA Jaisingh Marawi, who was to be made a minister of state, could not reach Raj Bhawan in time. “He got the message of being included a little late, and thus could not reach in time,” a sources said.


Though the party leadership had reservations about inducting first-time legislators into the council of ministers, Pratap Singh, Utwala and Hardia managed to get ministerial berths.


The tainted new ministers are Narottam Mishra, Ajay Vishnoi and Vijay Shah who after hard lobbying were successful in getting themselves inducted in the Shivraj cabinet. Mishra, a former minister, was not considered for ministerial post when BJP retained power in December 2008 as Income Tax Department had raided accommodation of his personal secretary in his last tenure. Similarly, former Health Minister Ajay Vishnoi was not made minister due to IT raid against him and scam in the Health Department.


It may be pointed out here that Chouhan was sworn in as CM on December 12 last year. He was sworn in alone in a grand function held not in the Raj Bhawan but in Jamboree Ground in the BHEL area. His Council of Ministers was administered the oath of office and secrecy in the Raj Bhawan on December 20. Since then, it was being speculated that the Cabinet expansion would take place sooner than later.


However, the exercise was first deferred till May due to the Lok Sabha elections. BJP's comparatively poor performance ostensibly discouraged the CM from exercising his right as the BJP’s number came down from 25 to 16 from the State in the Lok Sabha.


Then it was the inner-party trouble at the national level like expulsion of senior leader Jaswant Singh from the party, Arun Shourie's comments against Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha LK Advani, Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje’s refusal to step down from the post despite party president Rajnath Singh’s diktat, which kept Chouhan from attempting it.


Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, (MPCC), has criticized Chouhan for inducting tainted ministers who had to step down from his Council of Ministers in the wake of corruption charges in his previous tenure as Chief Minister.


MPCC spokesman KK Mishra in a statement expressed surprise at the inclusion of tainted faces as ministers in the ministry. This proves that Chouhan is a weak and helpless Chief Minister who had to bow to the pressure exerted by his former tainted cabinet colleagues brought in from various quarters.













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