Bhopal: Babulal Gaur (85) and Sartaj Singh (76), who held the important Home and PWD portfolios in Madhya Pradesh, on Thursday resigned from their posts.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan dropped the two senior ministers as he expanded his council of ministers, inducting four ministers of cabinet rank and five MoS.
Speaking to ANI, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, "Senior Ministers Babulal Gaur and Sartaj Singh have sent their resignation to me. I have forwarded it to the Governor. Following orders from the party, Babulal Gaur and Sartaj Singh sent me their resignations."
Babulal too confirmed the news and said that he tendered his resignation adhering to the directions given by the party and rejected rumours of any tiff within the party. "Nahi, koi naarazgi nahi he," (No, there is no anger).
Governor Ramnaresh Yadav administered the oath of office and secrecy to the four new Cabinet ministers - Archana Chitnis, Rustam Singh, Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya and Omprakash Dhurve - at Raj Bhavan in Chouhan's presence.
Vishwas Sarang, Sanjay Pathak, Suryaprakash Meena, Lalita Yadav and Harsh Singh took oath as Ministers of State.
There was speculation that Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Kusum Mehdele too had been asked to resign because of her age, but when contacted an aide of the 71-year-old leader dismissed it as rumour.
Sources said following today's expansion, a Happiness Ministry, a first-of-its-kind in the country, will be created. The new ministry, inspired by Bhutan, which has the concept of 'gross national happiness index', will likely be headed by Chouhan himself, they said.
(With PTI inputs)