There is much speculation about a possible cabinet expansion in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections. According to sources, the renegade of Congress, Jitin Prasada, could be given a place in the government of Yogi Adityanath.
Prasada joined the BJP on Wednesday in Delhi. He is a prominent Brahmin leader of western Uttar Pradesh. The sources said that Prasad could join the government in expanding the cabinet.
Also, AK Sharma, who joined the BJP in January this year, could be incorporated into the government. Sharma, a 1988 batch IAS officer, has been associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the past two decades. He was Prime Minister Modi’s trusted bureaucrat.
The sources said that Sharma could receive some additional responsibility in the government before the Assembly elections early next year.
The issue of cabinet expansion is believed to have featured during Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi today. Adityanath arrived here Thursday on a two-day visit and met with Union Minister Amit Shah.
The sources said that the BJP high command has not yet given the green light to the expansion of the cabinet. Yogi Adityanath’s visit to Delhi takes on significance as the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are only a few months away. The BJP had already rushed its organizational leaders to address the “crisis” in its ranks. BJP leader BK Santosh visited the state last week to review the party’s operation. He had also met with ministers, MLA, MPs and Adityanath.
The sources said that the BJP leadership wants to make the cabinet and party structure more “accommodative” before the Assembly elections. The leadership believes that there must be a good balance of caste equations in government and organization.
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet currently has 42 ministers and may house 18 more. Uttar Pradesh will go to the polls in February-March next year.
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