The much-awaited cabinet reshuffle of the Uttar Pradesh government which was likely to take place on Monday (August 19), has been postponed due to concerns over the health of former finance minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley, whose health is deteriorating is currently on life support at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMs) in Delhi.
According to sources, around four to six non-performing ministers are likely to be sacked, and while some fresh faces could be inducted, some Ministers of State could be promoted as Cabinet Ministers. The move comes at a time when the state is facing bypolls for 12 Assembly seats.
Adityanath had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister cum BJP president Amit Shah and working president Jagat Prakash Nadda in New Delhi, following which he approached Governor Anandiben Patel on Saturday. He was also accompanied by BJP UP President Swatantra Dev Singh in the meetings which took place in New Delhi.
The meeting between Adityanath and the Governor lasted about 30 minutes. Sources said the only agenda of the meeting was the cabinet reshuffle and the names of the new ministers to be sworn in.
After winning the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 from Prayagraj, Agra and Kanpur respectively, three cabinet ministers, Rita Bahugana Joshi, SP Singh Baghel and Satyadev Pachauri, had vacated their ministries. State minister for transport Swatantra Dev Singh had become president of the state BJP. Another minister, Om Prakash Rajbhar of the Suhaldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, who had rebelled, was earlier sacked.
The vacant ministries are at present given to other ministers as additional charge. Sources also point out that 2-3 Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) could also find a place in the cabinet. Overall, this cabinet reshuffle could see the entry of eight to 12 new faces.
Hence, Adityanath has these ministries to offer to new entrants in his cabinet. Those tipped to be elevated are ministers with independent charge — Rural Development Minister Dr Mahendra Singh, Minister for Panchayati Raj Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary and Jail Minister Anil Rajbhar.
Sources say that four to six ministers would be dropped from the Adityanath cabinet. These names have been decided on the basis of performance and the names have also been conveyed to the top leadership, Amit Shah.
Also, Pankaj Singh, Noida MLA and son of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Ayodhya MLA Ved Prakash Gupta and two MLCs Yashwant Singh and Vijay Bahadur Pathak are tipped off to become ministers, according to the sources.
Currently, the Yogi Adityanath government has 43 ministers, including him and his two deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dr Dinesh Sharma. With the total strength of the UP Assembly at 404, Adityanath has the option to induct 17 more ministers in his cabinet.
(Vivek Avasthi is the Senior Editor – Politics with Business Television India.)