With eye on Lok Sabha polls, expansion of Yogi's cabinet likely

PTI9_9_2018_000118B UP CM Yogi Adityanath | PTI

In the wake of upcoming parliament polls, speculations are hot about the reshuffle of Yogi’s cabinet. Some new faces may be inducted while, some ministers may be given more important responsibilities. The BJP wants to fine tune the council of ministers of the Yogi government before the polls, forseeing political advantage in doing so.

According to party sources, the BJP high command wants to complete this task before end of this month.

The reshuffle will be the first ever, since Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took charge. After the BJP’s recently national executive meet, the high command has spoken to BJP's general secretary (organisation), Sunil Bansal, UP in this connection. State President Mahendranath Pandey, CM Yogi Adityanath, and Deputy Chief Minister Keshev Prasad Maurya , have too been consulted.

There are 47 ministers in the present council of ministers and this number can go up to 60, depending on strength of the legislative assembly. So there is a room to accommodate 13 more ministers. After the ire of upper caste, owing to amendments in the SC/ST act, ministers belonging to upper castes could be elevated or given important departments in the ministry. In the present ministry, there are 25 upper caste ministers . In all the districts of UP, 44 districts do not have any representation in the ministry.

Ayodhya is important on the agenda of the BJP, but in the entire ministry, there is no representation from the Faizabad  division, where the holy city is located. Keeping present polls in mind, Ayodhya and its adjoining districts may be given representation in the ministry. Districts of western UP too, remain inadequately represented in the present ministry, which could be given representation to get votes from there. It is an open secret that  in BJP’s mission 2019, UP has a very important place and the party high command is leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters from all the castes.