Lucknow,August 21: With induction of 18 new faces,the much-awaited Yogi ministry in Uttar Pradesh was expanded on Wednesday.Five state ministers were promoted.All of them were administered oath of office and secrecy by new state governor Anandiben Patel.It was slated to be done on Monday but was postponed at the last moment.
ln the light of inclusion of new members the strength of the council has gone up to 56.The state can have 60 ministers as per the new norm.
Those promoted are:Mahendra Singh,Bhupendra Singh Chaudhari,Anil Rajbhar,S.Rana and Nilkanth Tiwari.
Seven new members have been given cabinet rank.Eleven others are ministers of state.Before the expansion,five ministers had submitted their resignation to facilitate expansion.Those who had resigned on Tuesday were:Dharmapal Singh,Anupama Jaiswal, Archana Pandey, Swatantra Dev Singh and Rajesh Agarwal.
While Swatantra Dev Singh had put in his papers because of his appointment as state president of the party( as per party constitution one person cannot hold two posts), Rajesh Agarwal had resigned because of his age (75).
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath seems to have kept caste balance in mind while selecting his new team.It has been also chosen with an eye on the next Assembly election(in 2022)
The western region which plays an important part in ministry formation has not been neglected.A well known leader of area,Bhupendra Singh Chaudhury, therefore,has been made a cabinet minister.
To please the Rajbhar caste,Anil Rajbhar has been also promoted.The caste was unhappy because of sacking of Om Prakash Rajbhar on the eve of the general elections.He was shown the door because he had defied the chief minister and put up candidates against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many others.His party was one of the two which had allied with ther BJP. The other,Apna Dal, is still with the government.
Before the swearing in,there were 38 ministers in the state.As many as 47 including chief miniser were sworn-in in March 2017,after the victory in Assembly elections after 14 years.
Of the total 47,three were elected to the Lok Sabha.Another one (Om Prakash Rajbhar)was sacked raising the total vacancy to four.Five ministers resigned later,bringing down the total to 38.The number has gone to 56 after providing berths to new members.
The new faces include Ashok Kataria and Neelima Katiyar.Ashok is a member of the state legislature.