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March 1, 2024

Yogi Adityanath’s Meeting with Governor Fuels Speculation of Uttar Pradesh Ministry Expansion

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s recent visit to New Delhi, where he participated in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, has sparked rumors of a potential ministry expansion in Uttar Pradesh.

Upon his return to Lucknow on Friday morning, Adityanath wasted no time and promptly met with Governor Anandiben Patel at Raj Bhavan, fueling speculation about an impending enlargement of the Uttar Pradesh council of ministers. While officially described as a courtesy call, the timing of the meeting after Adityanath’s Delhi visit adds political significance to the encounter.

In New Delhi, Adityanath engaged in discussions led by Prime Minister Modi on Thursday evening, focusing on the political landscape and the selection of BJP candidates for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The meeting reportedly extended late into the night, underscoring its importance.

The Uttar Pradesh council of ministers currently faces eight vacancies out of a maximum permissible strength of 60 members. With 18 cabinet ministers, 14 ministers of state (independent charge), and 20 ministers of state, there is room for expansion. Adityanath is expected to accommodate key BJP allies, including Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar and BJP MLC Dara Singh Chauhan. Additionally, one or two nominees from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) may also find a place in the ministry.

Rajbhar, who actively campaigned for Chauhan in the Ghosi assembly by-election in September 2023, holds significant influence. Although Chauhan lost the by-poll, the BJP appointed him as an MLC later on. The RLD MLAs’ support for BJP candidates in the recent Rajya Sabha election suggests a potential alliance between the two parties under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) umbrella. Consequently, the BJP may accommodate one or two more nominees, alongside Chauhan, from its quota.

As political dynamics evolve in Uttar Pradesh, the pending ministry expansion underscores the BJP’s strategy to bolster alliances and strengthen its position ahead of the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The upcoming additions to the council of ministers are expected to enhance the party’s electoral prospects and consolidate its support base in the state.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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