Bhopal, June 30 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday expanded his cabinet inducting nine new ministers -- four of cabinet rank and five ministers of state.
Home Minister Babulal Gaur, a former chief minister, and Public Works Department Minister Sartaj Singh resigned from the cabinet following directives in this regard from the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership.
Governor Ramnaresh Yadav administered the oaths of office to the new ministers at the Rajbhavan here.
The new ministers are Omprakash Dhurve, Archana Chitnis, Rustam Singh and Jaibhan Singh Pavaiya (all cabinet rank) amd Vishwas Sarang, Sanjay Pathak, Lalita Yadav, Harsh Singh and Suryaprakash Meena (ministers of state).
After the maiden cabinet expansion during Shivraj Singh Chouhan's third term as the state Chief Minister, the total strength of the council of ministers has risen to 31, excluding him. There are now 22 cabinet rank ministers and nine ministers of state.
On Thursday, BJP state affairs incharge Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and union minister Narendra Singh Tomar arrived in Bhopal with a message from the party leadership and held consultations with Chouhan and other leaders on the cabinet expansion.
Both Gaur and Sartaj Singh were asked to put in their papers, to which both protested strongly. Finally, Sartaj Singh submitted his resignation, followed by Gaur.