22 join Chauhan Ministry

Inducts four new faces, axes three old hands

Governor Jakhar administers the oath of office to 14 Cabinet Ministers and 8 Ministers of State

Portfolio allotment will be made keeping in mind the overall development of M.P.: Chauhan

Bhopal: More than a week after taking over, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Saturday expanded his Council of Ministers inducting 14 in the Cabinet Ministers and eight as Ministers of State, including four new faces, while axing three old hands.

Former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur is among the persons who were taken into Cabinet where the new face is Ramakrishna Kushmaria, the MP from Khajuraho.

The three new faces inducted as Ministers of State are Kanahaiyalal Agrawal, Harishanker Khatik and Devi Singh Sayyam.

Those dropped from the Cabinet are Vijay Shah, Kamal Patel, whose son is a murder case accused, Harinderjit Singh Babbu and Narottam Mishra. Governor Balram Jakhar administered the oath of office to the new BJP Ministry at the Raj Bhavan.

Mr. Chauhan was sworn-in as Chief Minister at Jamboori ground on December 12 here.

The MLAs who were administered oath of office as Cabinet Ministers included Babulal Gaur, Raghavji, Jayant Malliya, Kailash Vijayvargiya, Laxmikant Sharma, Ramkrishna Kushmaria, Nagendra Singh, Jagdish Devda, Gaurishanker Bisen, Anup Misra, Gopal Bhargava, Archna Chitnis, Takojiram Pawar and Jagannath Singh.

Karan Singh Verma, Paras Jain, Narayan Kushwaha, Ranjana Baghel, Rajendra Shukla and Kanahaiyalal Agrawal and Harishanker Khatik and Devi Singh Sayyam took oath as Ministers of State.

Talking to reporters informally at the Raj Bhawan after the first expansion of his ministry, Mr. Chauhan said that without wasting time all its members would devote themselves to the development of Madhya Pradesh.

Answering a question, he said that the allotment of the portfolios would be made keeping not only the coming Lok Sabha elections in mind but also the overall development of Madhya Pradesh.

Asked about the ruckus created by supporters of the BJP MLA from the Seoni-Malwa constituency Sartaj Singh to protest against his non-inclusion into the ministry, the Chief Minister said that he was not aware of this.

Mr. Chauhan, however, said that indisciplne would not be tolerated at any cost. -- PTI