The Uttar Pradesh government has postponed the cabinet expansion program which was scheduled to be held on Monday due to former finance minister Arun Jaitley’s health. Earlier the cabinet reshuffle of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh was scheduled to take place on Monday to fill the slots that have fallen vacant in the last few months, especially after some ministers entered the portals of Lok Sabha.
Adityanath took over the reins of the state in March 2017, and this will be the first expansion of his ministry. Three UP ministers were elected to Parliament in the recent Lok Sabha polls, while one was sacked. “The oath-taking ceremony will be held on Monday around 11 am at UP Raj Bhavan,” a Raj Bhavan official said earlier.
On Saturday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Governor Anandiben Patel after he apparently discussed the issue during his meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah in New Delhi.
OBC leader and Uttar Pradesh minister Swatantra Dev Singh was appointed as the new state unit chief of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in July and according to the BJP’s “one person-one post” principle, Singh cannot simultaneously hold the positions of a minister and the state party chief.
He is currently the minister of state (independent charge) for transport and protocol. The three ministers, who successfully contested the parliamentary polls, are SP Singh Baghel from Agra, Rita Bahuguna Joshi from Allahabad and Satyadev Pachauri from Kanpur.
Disgruntled minister and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader O P Rajbhar was sacked by the chief minister for his outburst against his NDA partner, the BJP.
“Reshuffling of the cabinet is the sole prerogative of the chief minister. How many will be elevated to cabinet rank, how many new faces will be inducted and how many will be rewarded for their work is the prerogative of the chief minister,” a UP BJP leader told PTI.
Uttar Pradesh has a total of 43 ministers, including the chief minister. There are 18 cabinet ministers, nine ministers of state with independent charge and 13 ministers of state, in addition to two deputy chief ministers—Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma.
The maximum strength of the council of ministers can be 15 per cent of the assembly’s total strength. The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has 403 seats and hence, the state can have a maximum of 61 ministers, including the chief minister, a BJP leader said.