Madhya Pradesh Chief Minsiter Shivraj Chouhan was elected as the leader of the legislative party of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a convention before taking the Chief Minister’s oath. He would be sworn in as the Chief Minister for the third time by Governor Ram Naresh Yadav on Saturday at the city’s Jamboree Grounds. This would be witnessed by his counterparts from all BJP-ruled States, including his party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and others would also attend.

Word of caution

At the first meeting of the BJP legislative party of the 14th Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, Mr. Chouhan cautioned debutante MLAs against becoming arrogant or impolite. “Do not make the mistake of thinking you have become too big. Those who did have never seen the face of the Assembly again,” he said.

Ten ministers of his Cabinet lost the elections, the results of which were declared on December 8. The BJP, however, returned for a third time with a greater majority of 165 out of 230 seats. The Opposition — the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party — have been reduced to 58 and four seats respectively, with independents winning three seats. The new Cabinet, the maximum size of which is constitutionally limited to 35, is expected to be sworn in on December 17.

Former BJP State president and MP Narendra Tomar told reporters that the only criterion for entry into the Cabinet is “a clean image.” This puts Ministers like Babulal Gaur, Jayant Malayya and Kailash Vijayvargiya on a weak wicket, as they are being probed by the Lokayukta for allegations of corruption.