Former Congress leader Jitin Prasada, BJP leaders Chhatrapal Singh, Paltu Ram, and four others are set to take oath as in the Uttar Pradesh government as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expands his cabinet ahead of 2022 state assembly elections.
Ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party is attempting to balance caste and regional aspiration and appease non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav SCs, which backed the party in the last three polls.
Jitin Prasada, Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar, Paltu Ram, Sangeeta Balwant, Sanjeev Kumar Gaur, Dinesh Khatik, and Dharmaveer Singh are going to take oath. Sanjay Nishad and Baby Rani Maurya, whose names were also coming for the expansions were dropped at the last minute, sources told News18.
Prasada is being inducted as a Cabinet Minister, while the others will assume positions as Ministers of State in the UP Cabinet. Paltu Ram, from Schedule Caste Community, will be MoS from Balrampur, Chhatarpal Gangwar from Kurmi, Barrielly; Sangeeta Balwant Bind from Bind, Ghazipur; Dharamveer Prajapati from Agra, Sanjeev Kumar Gond, an ST, from Sonbhadra, and Dinesh Khatik, an SC, from Meerut.
The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled at Gandhi Auditorium in the Raj Bhavan, officials said. Officials had earlier remained tight-lipped over the number and names of ministers to be sworn in.
The names were shortlisted last month at a 3.5-hour meeting hosted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence that was attended by BJP Chief JP Nadda, Yogi Adityanath, and senior party functionaries Sunil Bansal and Swatantra Dev Singh.
At present, there are 23 Cabinet ministers, nine ministers of independent charge, and 22 ministers of state in the Yogi cabinet, that is, the total number of ministers is 54. Six ministerial posts were vacant.
After the formation of the State government on March 19, 2017, the Yogi government expanded the Cabinet on August 22, 2019. During that time there were 56 members in his Cabinet. Three ministers have died due to Covid-19. Recently, Minister of State Vijay Kumar Kashyap died, while Minister Chetan Chauhan and Minister Kamal Rani Varun died in the first wave of Covid-19. In the first Cabinet expansion, six ministers with independent charge were administered the oath of Cabinet.