UP Cabinet Expansion: Jitin Prasada among seven new faces inducted in Yogi cabinet as BJP strikes a balancing act

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Updated: September 26, 2021 7:14 PM

Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Expansion: The induction of seven new faces takes the state Cabinet's strength to a maximum of 60 as per the as per the constitutional limit.

Jitin Prasada's induction is seenan attempt to placate the Brahmin community amid the purported perception of the Yogi government being pro-Thakur. 

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expanded his Cabinet on Sunday in a crucial move seen as a bid to balance caste and regional aspiration with the state just few away months away from the assembly polls. The new faces inducted in the Cabinet include Jitin Prasada, Chhatrapal Singh, Paltu Ram, Sangita Balwant, Sanjeev Kumar, Dinesh Khatik, and Dharmvir Singh.

While Prasad took oath as a Cabinet minister, six others took oath as the Ministers of State. The induction of seven new faces takes the state Cabinet’s strength to a maximum of 60 as per the as per the constitutional limit.

Prasada is a prominent Brahmin face who left the Congress party to join the BJP earlier this year. His induction is an attempt to placate the Brahmin community amid the purported perception of the Adityanath government being pro-Thakur, the caste of the chief minister.

With the induction of seven new faces, the Yogi government aims at setting the house in order. With an aim to woo the OBCs and MBCs while keeping the Brahmin community in good humour, the Cabinet expansion saw induction of one Brahmin, three OBCs, one ST and two Dalits in the ministry.

Sanjay Nishad, the chief of Nishad party, was also expected to join the expanded Cabinet earlier. Nishad party will contest the 2022 UP assembly elections in alliance with the BJP.

Nishad was in the news recently for his demand from the BJP to project him as a deputy chief minister face in the elections. He had claimed that 18 per cent of voters belong to Nishad (fishermen) community which plays a deciding role on 160 assembly seats.

There are 53 ministers in the UP Cabinet at present and seven more can be inducted as per the constitutional limit. At present, there are 23 Cabinet ministers in UP including the chief minister. There are nine ministers of state with independent charges and there are 21 ministers of state.

The maximum strength of the UP Cabinet can be 15 per cent of the total strength of its Assembly. The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has 403 seats. In the 2017 UP Assembly elections, the BJP had won 312 seats out of the 403 seats. Its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) had won nine seats.

After the formation of the state government on March 19, 2017, the Yogi government expanded the Cabinet on August 22, 2019. During that time there were 56 members in his Cabinet. Three ministers have died due to Covid-19.

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