Congress naming ministers in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan While have Lok Sabha polls in mind
Cover maximum ground for the Lok Sabha election by ensuring representation from a majority of seats that the party aims to win – that seems to be the formula behind the Congress party’s ministerial picks in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, which together have 54 parliamentary constituencies.
As many as three in four ministers in both states are first-timers, an indication that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had the final say and stressed on greater representation of youth even as the chief ministers selected in Madhya Pradesh as well as Rajasthan are party veterans, Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot.
Rajasthan has 17 first time ministers, out of a total of 23, while 22 out of 28 ministers in MP have made their debut in the council of ministers. Five ministerial positions in Rajasthan and six in MP are vacant for future expansions. The selection of ministers was finalised in Delhi after discussions lasting several days.
Twenty out of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh are represented in the council of ministers, with key seats such as Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Dhar getting two ministers apiece while Gwalior has got three ministers. Indore has been the stronghold of BJP leader and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan while Jabalpur is represented in Parliament by the BJP’s state president, Rakesh Singh.
Congress won six out of the seven assembly seats
The Congress won six out of the seven assembly seats in Dhar district, giving it hope of snatching the Dhar Lok Sabha seat from BJP. Gwalior MP and Union Minister NS Tomar may also be on a sticky wicket in 2019.
Malwa-Nimad and Gwalior-Chambal regions have been represented well with 14 ministers while Vindhya region, where the Congress won just six out of 30 seats, got only one minister. Districts where Congress lost badly, like Mandsaur, where it won only one out of eight seats, and Khajuraho, where it won two out of eight seats, have been left unrepresented. Khajuraho seat has been held by the BJP since 2004.
Mandsaur LS seat has been with the BJP since 1989, barring a Congress win in 2009. Morena district, where the Congress won seven out of eight assembly seats, is unrepresented. BJP has held Morena LS seat since 1996.
In Rajasthan, Congress has banked on Jats and SC/ST leaders in the council of ministers, with half the members from these communities which backed Congress in the assembly polls. The Congress won a majority of SC/ST seats in the assembly and is aiming for a repeat in the Lok Sabha from the state which has seven reserved seats in the state.
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