Bhopal | Jagran Politics Desk: Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists -- Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Rajput -- on Sunday took oath as ministers as Shivraj Singh Chouhan expanded his cabinet for the third time since he took over as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for the fourth time in March last year.

The oath of the office was administered by Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel. Chouhan, Protem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma and several ministers of the state cabinet were present during the brief ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan in Bhopal.

This is the third cabinet expansion since the return of Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP returned to power in Madhya Pradesh. The first expansion had taken place on April 21 while the second happened on July 2 last year with induction of 28 ministers, including a dozen loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Silawat and Rajput, who joined the BJP along with Scindia in March last year, were made ministers during the first cabinet expansion too. However, they were forced to resign in October because they were not members of the state legislature as the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the bypolls.

Here it is noteworthy to mention that there is a mandatory provision that a non-MLA, who got inducted in the cabinet, should get elected to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly within six months.

However, Silawat and Rajput won the Madhya Pradesh bypoll last year, allowing themselves to return in the state Assembly. The two had contested the bypolls from Sanver and Surkhi respectively.

Talking about the Madhya Pradesh byelections 2020, the BJP emerged victorious as the saffron party won 19 of the 28 seats. On the other hand, the Congress, which was ousted from power in March last year, bagged just nine seats.

Following Congress' loss, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior party leader Kamal Nath gave a hint that he might soon retire from active politics. "I am ready to take some rest. I have no ambitions or any greed for any post. I have achieved a lot already," he said at a rally.

Nath was blamed from Congress' loss in the 2020 Madhya Pradesh byelections and several party leaders, including Sehore Harpal Singh Thakur, had questioned the veteran's leadership qualities, saying he should now "pave the way for younger leaders".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma