Two loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had jumped from the Congress to BJP last year bringing down the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh, have now returned as ministers in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led cabinet after it was expanded on Sunday.
The two new cabinet members — Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Rajput — were among the Congress MLAs who had resigned and joined the BJP with Scindia in March last year.
Silawat and Rajput were administered the oath of office by Governor Anandiben Patel during a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan which was attended by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh, Protem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma and several ministers of the state cabinet.
This is the third expansion of the state cabinet ever since Chouhan took over as the chief minister for the fourth term in March 2020 after the collapse of the Congress government.
Silawat and Rajput had been inducted into the cabinet in April last year during its first expansion, but had to step down in October as they were not members of the state legislature as the coronavirus pandemic had delayed the bypolls.
There is a mandatory provision that a non-MLA, who got inducted in the cabinet, should get elected to the State Assembly within six months.
The second expansion of Chouhan’s cabinet took place on July 2 last year with induction of 28 ministers, including a dozen loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia. The first expansion was held on April 21 last year wherein five ministers, including Silawat and Rajput, were inducted.
In the Assembly bypolls held on November 3, the BJP had won 19 of the 28 seats, while the opposition Congress had bagged nine. Silawat and Rajput won from Sanver and Surkhi respectively in the bypoll.
Besides the two new leaders, Already nine Scindia loyalists were part of the Shivraj cabinet but three of them are facing corruption charges. Meanwhile, Scindia, who had propelled such a huge exodus from the Congress, was given a Rajya Sabha seat last year.
(With inputs from agencies)