Chouhan gets clearance, cabinet to take oath Saturday

December 19th, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhopal, Dec 19 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who was in search of an auspicious time for the swearing-in of his ministerial colleagues and awaiting clearance from the party leadership, decided to go in for the formation of his ministry Saturday after getting clearance from both - the senior leaders and the astrologers, party sources said Friday.”The chief minister met Governor Balram Jakhar Friday afternoon and handed over a list of probable ministers to be sworn in Saturday at 3.30 p.m.” Commissioner Public Relations, Manoj Shrivastava told IANS.

Party sources said the chief minister along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Narendra Singh Tomar Friday met the party president Rajnath Singh, senior leader M. Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) bigwigs in Delhi and discussed the formation of the council of ministers.

Soon after getting the clearance, Chouhan rushed to Bhopal and met Jakhar and handed over the list of the ministers-to-be.

Though the current month, according to the Hindu calendar, is inauspicious and no important projects are started during this period by those who believe in astrology, astrologers say that Chouhan can go ahead with the formation of the cabinet Saturday since it would nullify the bad omen.

“Chouhan took oath as chief minister of the state for the second time in a row Dec 12 but could not decide when to appoint his cabinet colleagues since there was infighting over cabinet berths. Moreover, the inauspicious period 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.

The council, though expected to be small, is likely to include some of the MPs who quit the Lok Sabha to contest assembly elections and emerged victorious. They include Ramkrishna Kusumaria, Neeta Pateria and Sartaj Singh.

However, Chouhan is now faced with the task of selecting an appropriate candidate for the assembly speaker’s post since the former speaker Ishwar Das Rohani has expressed his willingness to be a minister.

The state leadership was willing to appoint senior party leader and former chief minister Babulal Gaur, who set a record with his ninth consecutive victory from the state capital for the post, but he too is reportedly not inclined to accept the post.

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