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Modi’s cabinet expansion has eyes set on UP polls

Of the seven ministers from the state inducted into the cabinet on Wednesday, six are non-upper castes, reports Asian Lite News

The cabinet expansion of the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday has set the roadmap for the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next year.

The selection of names inducted in the Union Cabinet from Uttar Pradesh, clearly indicates the priorities of the BJP for the UP elections.

Of the seven ministers from the state inducted into the cabinet on Wednesday, six are non-upper castes.

Four of the newly-inducted ministers belong to various OBC caste groups.

Anupriya Patel and Pankaj Chaudhary are from the Kurmi caste, while B.L. Varma is from the Lodh community and S.P. Singh Baghel is an OBC (Gadaria) but claims to be a scheduled caste. His case on this issue is sub judice.

Bhanu Pratap Verma is a Dalit and Kaushal Kishore is also a Dalit (Pasi community).

The lone upper caste is Ajay Mishra, a Brahmin.

Interestingly, the BJP has carefully chosen to opt for only non-Yadav OBCs which means that the ruling party is intentionally trying to break the OBC unity and damage the Samajwadi Party.

The cabinet expansion also makes it abundantly clear that the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, will now focus on OBCs and Dalits who from the largest chunk of voters.

“There was no need to focus on upper castes since we have a Chief Minister who belongs to the Thakur community and a Deputy Chief Minister who is from the Brahmin community. The party wants to send a clear message that it seeks participation in power of sections of society that have not got their due,” said a party functionary.

Punjab, Gujarat and Himachal in rejig

Similarly, two ministers from Gujarat (Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala) and one from Himachal Pradesh (Anurag Singh Thakur), were elevated. New MoS Chouhan Devusinh, is also an MP from Gujarat’s Kheda Both these states, which are ruled by the BJP now, are poll-bound in the second half of calendar 2022.

Maghubai Chhaghanbhai Patel, a tribal leader of the BJP from Gujarat, was appointed Governor on Tuesday. Darshana Vikram Jardosh, the MP from Surat, a stronghold of the BJP, and worked hard to retain the party dominance following protests from trader community against the GST implementation in 2017 state polls – has also been inducted as an MoS now.

Punjab, a state which is also set to see elections early next year, did not get any additional representation, but Hardeep Singh Puri, a Minister of State, belongs to Sikh community was upgraded to Cabinet rank. Puri, however, is a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh

If Uttarakhand’s Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank lost his Cabinet post, a Brahmin leader from the state, Ajay Bhatt, has now been inducted as a Minister of State. Manipur, another poll bound state also got representation in the revamped Council with the induction of Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, as an MoS. While Andhra Pradesh, one of the two southern states the BJP leadership is keen to expand the party’s presence, has been given a representation in Tuesday’s gubernatorial appointments.

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27 New Faces Likely in Modi Cabinet Expansion

Heavyweights Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sushil Modi, Sarbananda Sonowal, Narayan Rane and Bhupender Yadav could be part of the massive reshuffle of the Union Cabinet reportedly imminent, reports Asian Lite News

With the all-party meeting on J&K done and dusted, the impending Cabinet reshuffle has once again gathered pace. As many as 27 probables, including heavyweights Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sushil Modi, Sarbananda Sonowal, Narayan Rane and Bhupender Yadav could be part of the massive reshuffle of the Union Cabinet reportedly imminent.

The new ministers in the Narendra Modi government, who are likely to be sworn in include former Congress heavyweight from Madhya Pradesh, Scindia, who is now in the BJP; former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi; senior BJP organisational heavyweights party general secretary, Bhupender Yadav from Rajasthan and Kailash Vijayvargiya, from Madhya Pradesh, who was in charge of the BJP campaign in West Bengal. BJP spokesperson and minority face Syed Zafar Islam is also tipped for a central government role.


Also on the master list are former Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane, besides, Maharashtra Beed MP Pritam Munde and Gopinath Munde’s daughter is on the reshuffle candidates list.

From Uttar Pradesh which is headed for ‘make or break’ elections for the BJP next year, BJP UP chief Swatantra Dev Singh, a certainty; Pankaj Chaudhary, MP from Maharajganj, Varun Gandhi, and alliance partner, Anupriya Patel are among the probables.

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Rajya Sabha MP Anil Jain, Odisha MPs, Ashwini Vaishnaw and former Baijayant Panda; former Railway Minister from Bengal Dinesh Trivedi are also on the list. Jain is also President of the All India Tennis Association.

There is a sizeable contingent from Rajasthan, including former Union Minister in Modi government P.P. Choudhry, youngest MP from Rajasthan hailing from Churu, Rahul Kaswan and Sikar MP Sumedhanand Saraswati.

Jyotiraditya Scindia

The lone entrant from Delhi will be New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi.

Amid the significant churn in Bihar, Pasupati Paras who rebelled against Chirag Paswan is likely getting a central berth from LJP, as are JDU nominations R.C.P. Singh and Santosh Kumar.

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Karnataka may well be represented by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Gujarat BJP President C.R. Patil is moving to the government along with Ahmedabad West MP Kirit Solaki.

From Haryana, Sirsa MP Sunita Duggal, a former Income Tax officer is also among the probables. Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal who impressed with his Parliament speech is also being considered.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (PIB)

The reshuffle is being necessitated by some vacancies caused due to untimely deaths like Ram Vilas Paswan and Suresh Angadi and exits of Akali Dal and Shiv Sena.

Many ministers are saddled with multiple portfolios due the deaths and exits. Upcoming elections in UP are a factor in the reshuffle and also the need to add some heft to government with the entry of Bhupender Yadav, a strong organisational face.

Since PM Modi came back to power in 2019, this will be the first such reshuffle cum expansion.

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