BHOPAL: After a protracted discussion among factional leaders and intervention of party president Rahul Gandhi, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath allocated portfolios to his 28 cabinet colleagues late on Friday night.

Nath kept industries, public relations, aviation, science & technology, public service management, NRIs, technical education, skills development and employment departments with himself. This indicates that the CM would look after the departments related to the priority areas of the Congress government like employment generation and private investment.

Digvijaya Singh, who was CM for a decade in the 1990s, had not kept any department with himself.

Contrary to speculations, crucial finance department would he handled by Nath’s confidante Tarun Bhanot. Bhanot is an engineer and had won from Jabalpur. Likewise, the important portfolio of Home goes to Nath’s supporter Bala Bachchan.

Sachin Yadav will hold agriculture, Vijaylaxmi Sadho culture, medical education and Ayush, Tulsi Silawat, for whom his mentor Jyotiraditya Scindia was vying for home and transport department has got public health instead.

Jeetu Patwari has been given sports and youth welfare department.

Another Kamal Nath loyalist Sajjan Verma got public works department, while Digvijaya Singh’s son Jaiwardhan Singh got urban administration and housing, Hukum Singh Karada got water resources and Dr Govibd Singh cooperative department as expected. He would also be legislative affairs minister.

Arif Aqueel was allotted minorities welfare and gas relief as expected and another MLA from Bhopal, P C Sharma has got a relatively light law & legislative affairs department, but he will also be attached to chief minister’s office as cabinet minister.

Independent MLA, Pradeep Jaiswal, who is the only non-Congress MLA to get ministerial berth has been given powerful mining department. Imarti Devi would be women & child development minister and Kamleshwar Patel panchayat and rural development. Govind Rajput, a Scindia loyalist, has got the prized portfolios of revenue and transport while Sukhdev Panse will hold PHE department and Umang Singhar the important portfolio of forest.

Surendra Singh Baghel will be in-charge NVDA and tourism.

Since excise department had not been given to anyone, it may be deemed to be with the chief minister Kamal Nath for now.

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