Lucknow/ Sept, 26 : A crucial expansion of the Uttar Pradesh cabinet is imminent, reported NDTV, saying therein that with six to seven new faces expected to be inducted into Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s team at 5 pm.
The expansion comes months before Assembly polls in the politically key state and, with those elections in mind, is expected to include representation from across castes and communities.
Among the expected new faces are former Congress leader Jitin Prasada, who was once a close associate of Rahul Gandhi, and the party’s top Brahmin face in UP, before he swapped parties in June.
Mr Prasada’s entry was meant to help the BJP reset the optics of the Yogi Adityanath government, perceived by a section of state’s Brahmins as being pro-Thakur (the Chief Minister’s caste).
Brahmins make up about 13 per cent of UP’s voters and are an influential chunk that has steadily gravitated from the Congress towards the BJP over the years. In July last year, Prasada launched a “Brahmin Chetna Parishad” but it had little impact.
Sanjay Nishad of the Nishad Party, which is an ally of the BJP, is also expected to be included; this comes a few months after Mr Nishad, who is from the OBC community, expressed unhappiness over his son and MP, Pravin Nishad, not being included in the mega reshuffle of the union cabinet. Nishad had then warned the BJP of “consequences in the upcoming Assembly poll”.