Wearing his loyalty on his sleeves, Madhya Pradesh Water Resources Minister Tulsiram Silawat Wednesday gave his mentor Jyotiraditya Scindia’s portrait pride of place in his office.
Silawat was inducted in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet on April 21 but he reached his office for the first time on Wednesday. Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chouhan are the other portraits that adorn the wall behind his desk.
The former Congress leader was among two loyalists of Scindia who made it to the five-member cabinet. He will have to get elected within six months to validate his stay in office. Scindia lost the Lok Sabha election from Guna but he is BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate now. The elections for three upper house berths were scheduled for March 26 but have been postponed indefinitely.
“In what capacity has Scindia’s portrait been displayed in a government office?,” asked former chief minister Kamal Nath’s media coordinator Narendra Saluja. “Incidentally, there are no portraits of Deendayalji, Shyamaprasadji, Amit Shah and J P Nadda,’’ he tweeted.
Scindia’s spokesman and BJP leader Pankaj Chaturvedi justified the portrait in office saying, “Scindiaji is a source of inspiration. There is nothing wrong with it. I don’t understand why is Congress is perturbed about it.’’
Silawat was not available for comment. He was the health minister in the Kamal Nath government and was among the 22 rebel Congress MLAs who camped in Bengaluru for weeks in March, a rebellion that brought down the 15-month-old Congress government. In his mid-60s, Silawat is a hardcore loyalist and camped in Guna for days to manage the campaign of Scindia for the parliamentary election in May last year. Silawat, who belongs to Indore, was a minister even then.
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