Adityanath cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday

Lucknow: The first reshuffle of the Yogi Adityanath ministry in Uttar Pradesh will take place on August 21, a Raj Bhavan official said on Tuesday.

The reshuffle, and the possible induction of new members, is likely to fill the slots that have fallen vacant in the last few months, particularly after some ministers got elected to the Lok Sabha.

This will be the first cabinet reshuffle after Adityanath took charge in the state in March 2017, heading a 47-member ministry.

Three of the 47 ministers — Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Satyadev Pachauri and S P Singh Baghel — were elected to the Lok Sabha in May.

Another minister, Om Prakash Rajbhar, who heads the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, was sacked for causing embarrassment to the BJP-led government with his outbursts against the saffron party.

The Raj Bhavan official said the swearing-in will be held at the Gandhi Bhawan auditorium at 11 am.

There had been speculation over the reshuffle during the past few days.

A Raj Bhavan official had on Sunday said the event was slated for the next day, only to retract hours later saying “no request” was received from the state government for it.

Adityanath called on Governor Anandiben Patel on Saturday, a day after he met BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi, triggering talk of a possible rejig any day.

The recent appointment of OBC leader and Uttar Pradesh minister Swatantra Dev Singh as the BJP’s state unit chief also put the spotlight on a possible reshuffle of the cabinet.

According to the BJP’s “one person-one post” principle, Singh could not simultaneously hold the positions of a minister and the state party chief.

He resigned as minister of state (independent charge) for transport and protocol on Monday.

Singh replaced Mahendra Nath Pandey, who gave up the organisational post after he was inducted into the Union cabinet.

At present, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet has 43 members.

The maximum strength of the cabinet can be 15 per cent of the state assembly’s total strength. The Uttar Pradesh Assembly has 403 seats and the state can have 61-member ministry.