With the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections only a few months away, the Yogi Adityanath government is likely to carry out a Cabinet expansion by August-end. According to reports, five to seven new ministers could join the government. Currently, there are 54 ministers, and the upper limit is 60. This expansion will reportedly be done to fix certain caste equations ahead of the all-important polls.
The speculations grew after the Chief Minister flew to the national capital on Thursday, and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda. UP BJP chief Swantantra Dev Singh, national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh, general secretary (organisation) of party's state unit Sunil Bansal were also present in the meeting.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, Nishad Party president Sanjay Nishad was also present at the meeting. Meanwhile, the BJP has agreed to accommodate Sanjay Nishad in the proposed Cabinet expansion and give him a seat in the state’s upper house.
According to a senior BJP leader from UP, since Sanjay Nishad is not a member in any of the house in UP, the party has agreed to send him to the legislative council under the nominated quota. In July four seats of the nominated category in the UP legislative council had fallen vacant.
Besides Nishad, the BJP leaders in Delhi also discussed the name of three candidates who will be sent to the legislative council. The party has made up its mind on former state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai and former Congress leader Jitin Prasada. Jitin had joined BJP last month.
Reportedly, the Brahmin community in Uttar Pradesh is upset with the saffron party. And Jitin Prasada's inclusion in Yogi's Cabinet will help woo the voters from the community. Besides, the party is also trying to appease the non-Yadav Other Backward Classes and non-Jatav Scheduled Castes which backed the party in the last three elections, reported NDTV.
Meanwhile, the Nishad party--which is a BJP ally in the state--has demanded 70 seats to contest in the upcoming Assembly elections. This decision is yet to be taken, said Sanjay Nishad. He added that very soon a meeting with the senior BJP leaders would be held in this matter. During the meeting with top BJP leaders, Nishad said he demanded reservation for the fishermen community in UP and withdrawal of cases against them. These cases were lodged during the political movement of his community in the previous regime.
According to a News18 report, several top leaders will be sent to the state for various programmes and for motivating the party workers in the run-up to the Assembly polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make at least one visit a month to Uttar Pradesh ahead of the elections, the report said quoting sources.
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