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RAIPUR, Dec. 22, 2023 (TBINN)

Chhattisgarh Cabinet will be expanded today with the induction of nine ministers, Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai has said.

It will take the strength of the Sai-led Cabinet to 12. Nine M.L.A.s will be sworn-in as ministers at Raj Bhavan at 11:45 A.M., Sai told reporters.

Brijmohan Agrawal, Ramvichar Netam, Dayaldas Baghel, Kedar Kashyap, Lakhanlal Dewangan, Shyam Bihari Jaiswal, OP Choudhary, Tank Ram Verma and Laxmi Rajwade will take oath as ministers, he added. Very soon portfolios will be allotted. One more cabinet berth will be filled later, C.M. Vishnu Deo told reporters.

Chhattisgarh can have a maximum of 13 ministers, including the C.M. Currently, the Cabinet has three members, Chief Minister Vishnu Deo and Deputy C.M.s Arun Sao and Vijay Sharma. They were sworn-in on December 13, 2023.

After the expansion of Cabinet, it will have six members belonging to Other Backward Classes (O.B.C.), namely Arun Sao, Lakhanlal Dewangan, Shyam Bihari Jaiswal, OP Choudhary, Tank Ram Verma and Laxmi Rajwade. C.M. Vishnu Deo Sai, Ramvichar Netam and Kedar Kashyap are from the Scheduled Tribes, Dayaldas Baghel is from the Scheduled Caste Category, while Vijay Sharma and Brijmohan Agrawal are from the General Category. Rajwade will be the only woman member in the Cabinet.

Agrawal, Netam, Kashyap and Baghel have served as ministers in previous Bhartiya Janta Party governments in the state, while C.M. Sai has been a Union Minister during the first term of N.D.A. Government at the Centre.

Sao, Sharma, I.A.S.-turned-politician Choudhary, Verma and Rajwade are first-time M.L.A.s. Jaiswal and Dewangan have become M.L.A.s for the second time. After today’s ’s expansion, the Cabinet will have four members from Surguja Division, three from Bilaspur Division, two each from Raipur and Durg divisions and one from Bastar Division.

The B.J.P. came back to power in the state by ousting Congress in the Assembly polls held on November 7 and 17, 2023. Results were declared on December 3, 2023.

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