Lucknow | Jagran News Desk: Months ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections in 2022, chief minister Yogi Adityanath Sunday expanded his cabinet. The oath-taking ceremony was at around 6 pm today at the Raj Bhavan, the Governor, Anandiben Patel's residence, who administered the oath to the new inductions. The expansion is an attempt to balance caste and regional aspiration ahead of the crucial assembly polls next year

According to the Uttar Pradesh government, Jitin Prasada, Chhatrapal Singh, Paltu Ram, Sangita Balwant, Sanjeev Kumar, Dinesh Khatik, and Dharmvir Singh took oath as ministers today. Jitin Prasada, who was once a close associate of Rahul Gandhi joined the BJP earlier this year and became the party's top Brahmin face in UP.  

This is the fourth BJP-ruled state where a major rejig is happening after Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. Earlier in the month, Bhupendra Patel was sworn in as Gujarat's new chief minister replacing Vijay Rupani. The entire Gujarat cabinet was changed subsequently.

In Uttarakhand, the BJP had changed its CM three times. After Trivendra Singh Rawat resigned as CM, Tirath Singh Rawat had taken the charge. But he was later replaced by Pushkar Singh Dhami. In Karnataka, BS Yediyurappa was replaced by Basavaraj Bommai in July.

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. The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) too had contested the 2017 assembly polls in alliance with the BJP and had won four seats but it had walked out of the alliance in 2019. 

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan