Chouhan in search of an auspicious time for cabinet formation


Bhopal : Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who steered the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in the assembly polls, is searching for an auspicious time for his cabinet’s oath-taking ceremony.

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The current month, according to the Hindu calendar, is the inauspicious ‘mal maas’. No important projects are started during this period by those who believe in astrology.

“Chouhan took oath as chief minister of the state for the second time in a row on Dec 12 but could not decide when to appoint his cabinet colleagues since there was infighting over cabinet berths. Moreover, the inauspicious mal maas began Dec 16,” said a party leader.

“The chief minister’s biggest dilemma is whether to include the tainted ministers of the previous regime in the new cabinet. As many as 24 of the 32 ministers of the previous regime have returned to the house. Cases against at least eight of them are pending with the Lokayukta (public ombudsman),” he said.

Party sources said Chouhan is also having a difficult time in choosing a speaker for the assembly.

Ishwardas Rohani, speaker in the previous assembly, is eager to become a minister. Former chief minister Babulal Gaur, who set a record with his ninth consecutive victory from the state capital, is being tipped for the post but is not interested.

Pressure was also mounting on the leadership to induct Sartaj Singh, Ramkrishna Kusmaria, Neeta Pateria and Gauri Shankar Bisen into the cabinet as they had quit as members of parliament after becoming legislators.