Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is all set to expand his cabinet today. While former Mines Minister Gayatri Prajapati’s re-induction is on the cards, social activist Nutan Thakur has petitioned the Governor Ram Naik against making him minister again.
This will be the eighth expansion of Akhilesh’s government since it assumed office in 2012. The UP council of ministers can have 60 ministers and presently, there are three vacancies in it. The Governor is scheduled to administer oath of office and secrecy to ministers in a Raj Bhawan communique today.
According to sources, Ziauddin Rizvi might take oath today as the last time when the Cabinet witnessed expansion, he was abroad. Apart from Prajapati and Rizvi, a third name has not yet been hinted at.
In her petition, Nutan said Prajapati was removed as a minister on serious corruption charges after the order of the Allahabad High Court for a CBI probe and the agency’s report was also presented before the court. She claimed that a minister is removed from office under Article 164 of the Constitution when he loses the pleasure of the Governor.
“Today, when I met him (Governor) personally, he told me that though as per Constitution, he is bound by the aid and advice of the chief minister, yet he will take legal advice at least on seeking a report on why was Prajapati first removed as minister and why he is being reappointed,” Nutan added.
Akhilesh had recently removed Prajapati from the Cabinet, following which a unprecedented poltical discord struch the Samajwadi Party. Akhilesh was said to be unhappy with the minister who was mired in controversy over allegations of promoting illegal mining.