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UP CM Yogi Adityanath expands his Cabinet, inducts seven new ministers

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanathon on Sunday evening expanded his Cabinet as he added seven new ministers. With the new induction, the strength of the UP Cabinet has gone up to 60.

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Jitin Prasada was inducted as a Cabinet Minister while six others — Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar, Paltu Ram, Sangita Balwant, Sanjeev Kumar, Dinesh Khatik and Dharmvir Singh — were administered oath as Ministers of State (MoS). 

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The oaths were administered by Governor Anandiben Patel at a function in the Gandhi auditorium in the Raj Bhavan in the presence of the CM.

Brahmin leader Prasada had jumped ship from Congress to BJP earlier this year amid the saffron party’s internal worries about the thin representation of the community in the party.

The expansion of the council of ministers has taken place as the BJP prepares for the assembly elections in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh early next year.

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 is CM Adityanath’s prerogative to fill them as and when he likes to.

The BJP will be fighting next year’s Assembly 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.”

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Sharma was among the contenders vying for the top post in 2017.

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.”

In the 2017 UP Assembly polls, the BJP had won 312 seats out of the 403 seats. Its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) had won nine seats.

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