UP cabinet expansion likely today; Om Prakash Rajbhar, Dara Singh Chauhan among probables

Staff at the Governor’s residence has been asked to make preparations

yogi-rs-poll-pti Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath | PTI

The Uttar Pradesh state’s cabinet is likely to be expanded on Tuesday even as there is speculation about the time as the Governor is not in Lucknow. 

While initial speculations were that five new faces would join the government, the list now says four. The swearing in ceremony will take place in the evening upon the return of the governor. Staff at the Governor’s residence has been asked to make preparations. The Governor who is in Agra, is likely to return early evening. 

On the list of probables is Om Prakash Rajbhar who heads the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party. Rajbhar had declared last week that he would not participate in Holi festivities if he did not get a gaddi (power). 

Dara Singh Chauhan, who defected from the Samajwadi Party despite being an MLA, was made an MLC by the BJP in January this year. This happened as he was unable to win the very seat from which he had been elected as a Samajwadi Party candidate. Aakash Saxena, BJP MLA from Rampur is also likely to get a place. 

The party is also likely to honour its new partner the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) by giving berths to Rajpal Baliyan and Ashraf Ali. In the Lok Sabha seat announcement made till now, the RLD has been given two seats. The BJP will strengthen this pact in the forthcoming MLC polls wherein one member from the RLD will be chosen.

Rajbhar’s outburst about carving out a new state in eastern UP and becoming its chief minister is one of the many statements that could have prompted the expansion.

Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet was sworn in on 25th March, 2022. It had 52 ministers of which 18 were cabinet ministers, 14 are state ministers with independent charge and 20 are state ministers. There is still space for eight more ministers. If four are sworn in today, it still leaves the party with four seats to consolidate further alliances. 

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