Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (File image)
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to expand his cabinet on September 26 and include seven new ministers including Jitin Prasad and Sanjay Nishad.
The oath-taking ceremony will take place at Raj Bhawan in Lucknow at 6 pm, reported India TV.
According to the report, some ministers who are likely to be included in the UP government’s cabinet are Jitin Prasad, Sanjay Nishad, Baby Rani Maurya, Paltu Ram, Sanjay Gaur, Dharamveer Prajapati, and former cabinet minister Chetan Chauhan's wife Sangeeta Chauhan.
Currently, the Yogi government has 53 ministers, including 23 cabinet ministers, nine ministers of state (independent charge), and 21 ministers of state. Therefore, it can accommodate six more ministers in the cabinet.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the government in the state on March 19, 2017, and appointed Adityanath as the chief minister. On August 22, 2019, the state government expanded the cabinet to 56 members. However, three ministers died due to COVID-19.
The expected expansion would also indicate how the saffron party prefers to deal with its allies ahead of the state assembly election due in early 2022, said the report citing party leaders.
They further indicated that leaders from both Apna Dal (Sonelal) and the Nishad Party could be included in the state cabinet.
The names of the ministers were picked up in a meeting in August hosted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence, according to a News18 report. The 3.5-hour-long meeting was attended by BJP chief JP Nadda, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and senior party functionaries Sunil Bansal and Swatantra Dev Singh, it said.
In the July 8 expansion of the Modi cabinet, special preference was given to the leaders from UP. Of the seven new ministers from UP at the Centre, four were from OBC, two were Dalits, and one was from the Brahmin community. This is the first time that a record 15 ministers have been inducted into the Modi cabinet from the state.