Madhya Pradesh to Expand its Cabinet Soon

Madhya Pradesh to Expand its Cabinet Soon

File photo of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

New Delhi: In the midst of a controversy over the Vyapam scam, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said he would soon carry out an expansion of his council of ministers.

"Soon, there will be an expansion," he told reporters in Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

He, however, parried questions over state Home Minister Babulal Gaur's possible removal from the Cabinet.

"Why do you want to remove him?" he asked. There has been speculation that Mr Gaur maybe dropped from the cabinet.

There have been differences between Mr Chouhan and Mr Gaur, a former chief minister of the state, over various issues including the Vyapam scam, party sources said.

The political rivalry between Mr Chouhan and Mr Gaur goes back to 2005. Mr Chouhan had replaced Mr Gaur as Chief Minister then.

According to party sources, the state BJP was not in favour of giving a ticket to Mr Gaur in the 2008 Assembly polls, but he got it because of his good relations with BJP patriarch LK Advani.

The sources said that even in the 2013 Assembly elections, Mr Gaur had got a ticket from Govindpura seat in Bhopal, which he had won for a record tenth time, on the assurance that he will not ask for it again.

The state BJP also denied second term as Mayor of Bhopal to his daughter-in-law, Krishna Gaur last year. Mr Chouhan, who has been facing heat over the Vyapam scam, met the PM for nearly 30 minutes.

"There were discussions on various issues," he said. The Madhya Pradesh chief minister also discussed with the Prime Minister progress done by the Niti Aayog's sub-group headed by him on Centrally-sponsored schemes.

The Vyapam scam involves massive irregularities and corruption in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) or MP Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal.
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