Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is set to expand his Cabinet Sunday evening, barely months ahead of the state Assembly elections, news agency PTI reported.
A swearing-in ceremony has been scheduled at the Gandhi auditorium in Raj Bhavan at 5:30 pm, officials told PTI.
The officials, however, remained tight-lipped about the number or the names of ministers who will be inducted into the cabinet.
Brahmin leader Jitin Prasada, who switched over to the BJP from the Congress, and Sanjay Nishad, whose NISHAD (Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal) party will contest the elections with the BJP, are among the names reportedly being considered.
There are 53 ministers in the UP cabinet at present, and seven more can be inducted as per the constitutional limit.
Earlier in June, amid strong speculation that CM Adityanath was going to reshuffle his Cabinet, BJP’s Uttar Pradesh in-charge, Radha Mohan Singh, had said though there were vacant posts, it’s CM Adityanath’s prerogative to fill them as and when he likes to.
The BJP will be fighting next year’s polls, most likely to be held in February, under the leadership of CM Adityanath.
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, in an interview with PTI, said that “the central leadership has already made it clear that the party will contest the election under Yogi Adityanath ji to return to power.”
Sharma was the contenders vying for the top post in 2017.On the induction of Jitin Prasada into the party, said to have been triggered by the worry over losing the community’s support, the minister claimed that the Congress man wanted to join the BJP way back, inspired by the work of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked if the upcoming polls will be a direct fight between the BJP and the SP or a triangular contest involving Mayawati’s BSP as well, Sharma said, “The BJP is winning hands down.”
With PTI inputs