Akhilesh woos Brahmins with cabinet expansion ahead of UP polls | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Akhilesh woos Brahmins with cabinet expansion ahead of UP polls

With an eye on the 2017 assembly elections, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday played the Brahmin card while expanding his cabinet for the eighth time since assuming office in March 2012.

lucknow Updated: Sep 27, 2016 00:47 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday played the Brahmin card while expanding his cabinet for the eighth time.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday played the Brahmin card while expanding his cabinet for the eighth time.(Deepak Gupta/ HT File Photo)

With an eye on the 2017 assembly elections, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday played the Brahmin card while expanding his cabinet for the eighth time since assuming office in March 2012.

Yadav re-inducted two Brahmins - Shiva Kant Ojha and Manoj Kumar Pandey – and Gayatri Prasad Prajapati. All three had been shown the door earlier.

Minister of state Abhishek Mishra, who has been elevated as cabinet minister, Ojha and Pandey are likely to be the Brahmin faces of the party.

Raj Kishore Singh, who too was dropped along with Prajapati, failed to make a comeback.

Yadav also elevated six ministers of state, including a Brahmin, to cabinet rank and dropped minister of state Laxmikant Nishad, who was recently jailed in a criminal case.

Ziauddin Rizvi, who could not take oath during the June 24 swearing-in ceremony as he was on Haj pilgrimage, was also sworn in on Monday.

To refurbish the government’s image before the elections, Yadav had dismissed Prajapati earlier this month as there were corruption charges against him.

Yadav’s action, however, triggered a crisis and Prajapati’s re-induction was part of a compromise formula hammered out by ruling Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The chief minister had dropped Ojha in October 2015 and Pandey in June 2016 amid reports that they were hobnobbing with the BJP.

The expansion resulted in 10 new cabinet ministers in the Akhilesh Yadav government.