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MP cabinet expanded; Ramniwas Rawat takes oath as minister

Rawat, a six-time MLA from Vijaypur in Sheopur district, quit the Congress and joined the ruling BJP during the Lok Sabha poll campaign on April 30.
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 05:10 IST

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Bhopal: In a bizarre sequence of events, a legislator in Madhya Pardesh was administered oath of office as a minister twice within a span of 15 minutes- first as a minister of state and then a cabinet minister in Chief Minister Mohan led BJP government in the state. 

Ramnivas Rawat, a prominent OBC face in the Gwalior-Chambal region, is a six-time Congress MLA from Vijaypur Assembly seat in Sheopur district.

Meanwhile the ceremony was not shorn of dramatic scenes, as Rawat took the oath of secrecy twice. First as minister of state at approx. 9.03 am and second as cabinet minister at approx. 9.18 am.

He reportedly mispronounced the written script (Rajya Ke Mantri) as Rajya mantri (minister of state), which technically meant as cabinet minister.

With Rawat's swearing-in, the tally of ministers in the Mohan Yadav cabinet has reached 31, and could go up to a maximum of 34.

Rawat, a veteran Congress leader, also served as (in-charge) state party president, contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, and was a former minister in the Congress government led by Digvijay Sigh.

Rawat quit Congress and joined the BJP on April 30, 2024 after allegedly being sidelined by state senior party leaders.

Speculation over Rawat’s quitting the grand old party only to join BJP has been doing the rounds for quite some time and gained momentum during the Lok Sabha elections.

The deal, however, was delayed till finalization of backdoor negotiations reached a logical end, according to inside sources. The move is considered a big boost to BJP in the Gwalior-Chambal region, where it wants to increase its footprint.

Among three out of the four Parliamentary seats in the region, only Guna-Shivpuri—being represented by union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia—had a clear cut advantage over Congress candidate Yadvendra Singh Yadav. While the remaining three of Morena, Bhind and Gwalior witnessed a close contest with victory margin of 50 to 70 thousand votes in BJP's favour. Scindia and Narendra Singh Tomar (Assembly Speaker) are two prominent faces among others in Gwalior-Chambal region.

Party sources disclosed that names of other two leaders (Gopal Bhargawa and Bhupendra Singh) doing the round for ministerial berths together with Rawat in the second expansion turned out to be mere media speculation. CM Dr Mohan Yadav while speaking to media on the sidelines, complemented Rawat and added that the party and the region will benefit from his long political experience.

Earlier on December 13, the MP CM and deputy chief ministers Jagdish Devda and Rajendra Shukla had sworn in after registering a resounding victory for the BJP in the state assembly election results declared on December 3.

In the first cabinet expansion that took place on December 25, 28 ministers (18 cabinet and 10 state ministers) were inducted in the Dr Yadav-led BJP government in the state.

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Published 08 July 2024, 05:10 IST

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