Ahead of polls, UP adds 7 new cabinet ministers | Latest India News
The second and much anticipated expansion of the government led by Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh came on Sunday evening, with Governor Anandiben Patel swearing in to a cabinet minister and six ministers of state. One of them, Jitin Prasada, is a Brahmin, while the others represent other backward castes (OBCs) and Dalit sub-castes.
The caste profiles of the new inductees are in line with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s efforts to sharpen its outreach to the state’s dominant castes and fight anti-nomination ahead of the 2022 elections.
Former Congress leader Prasada was awarded a cabinet post less than five months after joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The other new faces are Paltu Ram, a Dalit lawmaker from Balrampur; Chattrapal Gangwar, an OBC (Kurmi) leader from Bareilly; Sangeeta Balwant Bind, a leader of the CBO in Ghazipur; Dharamvir Prajapati, an OBC leader from Agra; Sanjeev Kumar Gond (listed tribe) from Sonbhadra; and Dinesh Khatik, a Dalit from Meerut.
“The pattern is the same,” said a BJP leader, acknowledging that the move reflects the expansion of the Union’s council of ministers in July when seven faces of the UP were greeted – three each from OBC groups and Dalit and a Brahmin face.
The Yogi government has so far consisted of 53 ministers, including 23 ministers, nine ministers of state (independent office) and 21 ministers of state. Its staff now stands at 60 ministers. But the new ministers will have less than 150 days in office.
“Indeed, these ministers will have around 90 days to exercise power or make political decisions, as the model code of conduct will come into effect around January. But it’s not about the time they spend as ministers; they were chosen for their caste profile before the UP polls. It is therefore an outright political movement aimed at symbolically indicating the reach of the party for the most backward among the CBOs and the poorest among the Dalits, ”said a former BJP leader, asking not to be appointed.
The BJP had won 312 seats in the 2017 UP polls in the 403-member assembly with a vote share of 41.7%. The latest expansion, the last before the UP 2022 polls, party leaders admit, was made in an attempt to balance the various castes, including those that had not been represented until now.
Just before arriving at Raj Bhavan for the swearing-in ceremony for new ministers, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted that his government would not engage in corruption or tolerate anyone engaging in it.
“Na bhrastachaar karenge, na kisi ko karne denge. Sarkar ki neeti aur neeyat dono saaf hai (We will not do bribery or allow anyone else to do it. Government policy and plan are very clear), ”Adityanath tweeted.
Shortly before that, Adityanath attended a farmers ‘rally in Lucknow organized by his party’s Farmers’ Wing in which he announced ??The state’s purchase price of sugarcane is increased by 25 per cwt, a move to appease angry farmers protesting the Union government’s three farm laws.
“We welcome our new friends to the government. Together we will work and win the UP 2022 polls, ”said State Backward Welfare Minister Anil Rajbhar, an OBC. The UP is also well represented in Narendra Modi’s government, with 14 MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as ministers. The BJP has 84 state deputies, including 62 in Lok Sabha and 22 in Rajya Sabha, while its ally Apna Dal has two members.
The changes are an indication that as the BJP strengthens its social engineering formula of bringing together a coalition of disparate castes, it has kept an eye on the CBOs, a category that has more political weight and contributed 40% of the vote. than the party in the last three elections – the general elections of 2014 and 2019 and the legislative elections of 2017.
Awareness of CBOs comes at a time when opposition parties and the BJP’s own allies are calling for a caste-based census. While those who support such a census claim that getting the exact numerical strength of each community will help refine existing policies for their elevation, the BJP has been evasive on the matter. Last week, the Union government told the Supreme Court in a petition that collecting data on the class of backward citizens in the upcoming census was administratively complex.
Given the influence that the CBOs – which represent 40% of the electorate – have in UP, the BJP does not want to risk alienating them or allowing the opposition to profit from the anger at its non- position. engagement on the issue of caste enumeration. Therefore, the party refined its reach by giving representatives more political power.
The announcement of an alliance with the Nishad party and representation in the Union cabinet of Apna Dal – two groups which count the CBOs as a base of support – carries the unambiguous message of the BJP trying to woo the CBOs .
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was recently appointed as the UP elections officer, is being projected as the face of the party’s CBO.
While it was overworked to build bridges with the OBC and SC communities, the BJP also had to reconnect with the Brahmins. The assiduous mobilization of the Bahujan Samaj party (which counts the SCs as its main support group) and the Samajwadi party (which has the support of the Yadavs, considered politically dominant among the CBOs) towards the Brahmins has pushed the BJP to consolidate its position with the so-called upper caste. In addition to a place in the state cabinet, a representative will also travel to the Legislative Council with three CBOs, one of which is from the more backward caste of the Bhurji.