In a major shake-up of his ministry, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday sacked eight Cabinet ministers and withdrew portfolios of nine others. The reshuffle is believed to be the first step towards ruling Samajwadi Party gearing up for the 2017 assembly elections.
The ministers who have been removed from the state Cabinet included Shiv Kumar Beria, Bhagwat Sharan Gangwar and Ambika Chowdhary.
Sources said the ministers have been removed on action initiated by the SP high command for their non-performance and, in some cases, on specific complaints. The nine ministers who have been stripped of their portfolios include Raguhraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya, Avdhesh Prasad and Ahmad Hasan, who held the health and family welfare portfolio.
Meanwhile, political circles are abuzz with the likely names to be inducted in the Akhilesh Cabinet reshuffle, which takes place on October 31. Sources believe that Akhilesh might bring few faces from his youth brigade left out in 2012 when the government was formed.
To balance the caste equation, some new faces from the SC, OBC and backward catagory may find a place too. Surprisingly, it is learnt that the Muslim faces who have lost their slot may not find place in the Cabinet.
Observers feel by doing a timely surgery of his government’s functioning, Akhilesh and SP leadership have given a signal that they won’t let the BJP repeat 2014, when it won 73 out of 80 LS seats in the state.