CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan stamps authority on cabinet expansion in Madhya Pradesh

As BJP government in Madhya Pradesh saw its first expansion in two and a half years after formation in 2013 on Thursday, it literally exhibited the clout of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the way as never before.
Whether it may be inclusion of Congress turncoat and the mining baron Sanjay Pathak into the cabinet or surprise induction of his close aide Surya Prakash Meena, CM Chouhan stamped his authority in full vigour.
The way two senior ministers, Babulal Gaur and Sartaj Singh were shown the door was another example of unchallenged clout of CM Chouhan.
Even two stalwarts of MP politics, hailing from Indore, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan and party national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya could not find a single loyalist in the cabinet.
Political analysts suggest that CM Shivraj slowly but steadily has packed bags of those from MP who could challenge his authority. These include Prabhat Jha who is now party vice president, Sumitra Mahajan who is now Lok Sabha speaker, Narendra Singh Tomar who is now a union minister and Uma Bharti, long time Chouhan adversary who is also an MP from UP and also a union minister.
Former chief minister and veteran leader Babulal Gaur too was subjected to unceremonious ouster and is least expected to have any say in Madhya Pradesh politics from now on.
BJP has its share though minute, in forming governments in Madhya Pradesh but stability and authority has always been missing. In 1977, the state saw first non-Congress government led by Sundarlal Patwa, Virendra Saklecha and Kailash Joshi. In 1990, Sundarlal Patwa formed the BJP government and in 2003, first Uma Bharti brought BJP to power and then she was replaced by Babulal Gaur in 2004 but none of them could stamp their authority.
However, CM Chouhan after taking over in November 2005, sealed his clout nationally and came back to power in 2009 and 2013 when there was no Modi wave in the country.
“In the recently concluded Simhastha, it was speculated that the state head who gets Simhastha management loses power but Chouhan has instead established his clout in Bhopal with the recently concluded cabinet expansion,” a senior BJP leader said wishing anonymity.
However, detractors still say that CM Chohhan eyeing 2018 assembly polls has missed out on regional and caste balance as no one from the SC community was given berth in cabinet and Malwa and Vindhya, primarily BJP bastion, failed to get any representation in the cabinet.