A Cabinet expansion is likely to take place in Chhattisgarh in the next couple of weeks, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said on Saturday. This will be the first such exercise of this government led by chief minister Vishnu Deo Sai which took oath six months ago. The leader cited above said more than half a dozen BJP leaders are in the race for ministers in the upcoming Cabinet expansion.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Vishnu Deo Sai. (File Photo)

People familiar with the matter said that two incumbent ministers could be replaced and two Cabinet berths would be filled in the process.

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“After Brijmohan Agarwal, who was cabinet minister, won the parliamentary elections one cabinet berth is now vacated. On the other hand, one other cabinet berth was not filled since the BJP government was formed last year. Plus, there are talks within the party that two ministers could also be replaced soon. It is possible that they can be replaced in this expansion process,” said a senior BJP leader, preferring anonymity.

The people who are in the race for Cabinet birth are Lata Usandi (MLA Kondagaon), Ajay Chandrakar (MLA Kurud), Kiran Deo (MLA Bastar), Purandar Mishra (MLA Raipur North), Gajendra Yadav (MLA Durg), Khushwant Saheb (MLA Arang) and Rajesh Munat (Raipur East).

Usendi , Chandrakar and Munat were ministers in the Raman Singh government.

“Yadav has strong RSS background and Khushwant Saheb can be given a chance because he is a Satnami and BJP is trying to pacify Satnami community after Baloda Bazar violence,” said another BJP leader. Another Santami MLA Domanlal Korsewada is also in the race, the leader added.

Kiran Deo is MLA Bastar and currently the state BJP chief also has a fair chance, the leader added.

Meanwhile, a third BJP leader said that the organisation is not happy with at least two ministers over their efficiency and controversy hence chances are there that they could be replaced.

“Everything is in the high-command’s court, but the party leadership is not happy with two ministers hence there are chances that they could be replaced. However, things are not very clear yet. The party can also consider geographical representation which means that Raipur, Durg and Bastar could be given a chance in this expansion,” the leader claimed.

BJP spokesperson Sacchinand Upasane said that the Cabinet expansion will soon take place and the review of work done by incumbent ministers is going on.

“The two vacant berths of the Cabinet will be filled and as far as replacement is concerned it is totally up to the CM and the organisation. But it is a fact that review of work done by the ministers in the last six months is going on,” said Upasane.