Yogi Adityanath cabinet expansion next week likely to amplify OBC push | Lucknow News


NEW Delhi: The expansion of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh slated for next week is likely to amplify the OBC push in the reshuffle of the central council of ministers affected recently. A decision to this effect was taken during a meeting at the residence of Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday.
Representation for communities like Kurmi, Nishad, and Rajbhar is in sync with the central leadership’s concerted bid to promote OBC leaders. A record 27 OBC leaders were included in the central government in the recent reshuffle.
BJP president JP Nadda, Yogi, state president Swatantra Dev Singh and state general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal were present at the meeting which lasted for over three hours. While there is a possibility of allies being inducted, new entrant to the party former Congress, Jitin Prasada, may also get a berth in the ministry.
“There was a detailed discussion on various issues including expansion of the state ministry,” a senior BJP leader told TOI. Party sources said the list will be finalised after the Rakshabandhan festival and oath-taking ceremony will take place within a week’s time.
While assembly polls are not too far as notification could be issued in December, there has been a discussion within the party about the need to accommodate some allies like Apna Dal and Nishad Party, whose role will be crucial in the eastern and parts of central UP.
Sources said at least seven to eight new ministers may be inducted with focus on caste calculations. One of the leading names is Jitin Prasada, who had recently quit the Congress and joined the BJP.
Although he is not a member of the state legislature, he may be nominated to the legislative council as there are already four MLC vacancies in the state. Prasada is a prominent Brahmin face in central UP — the regions like Lucknow, Sitapur, Shahjehanpur, Hardoi — and his inclusion in the state ministry will be yet another attempt to send a message to the Brahmin community, a sizeable and effective vote-bank in the state.
It is believed that the long wait of former IAS officer AK Sharma for a ministerial could also end in the reshuffle. He was sent to the upper house early this year after he quit as the secretary in the Union government.
The recent few weeks have witnessed Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party making attempts to woo the Brahmin community. The BJP needs the support of the community that played a crucial role in the party’s convincing victory in 2017.
Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad had another meeting with Shah and state leaders on Thursday, which gives a strong indication about the possibility of his making it to the state cabinet. Nishad has sway over the Mallah, Nisahd, Bind communities in the Allahabad-Varanasi region.
Apna Dal’s Anupriya Patel, who was recently inducted as minister of state in the Modi government, had also called on Shah before the reshuffle. Her husband Ashish Singh Patel, who is already an MLC, could be the party’s representative in the Adityanath government. Kurmi community in eastern UP has been the backbone of the party.
Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader Om Prakash Rajbhar had also called on state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh recently in Lucknow. However, there is no indication of Rajbhar’s return to the BJP led alliance, which he had quit in 2018 after being a cabinet minister for a few months.

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