The second and much-awaited expansion of the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh happened on Sunday evening, with governor Anandiben Patel administering oath to a cabinet minister and six ministers of state. Jitin Prasada, who had recently crossed over to the BJP from the Congress, took oath as cabinet minister, while six others were sworn in as Ministers of State. Governor Anandiben Patel administered oath to the new ministers at the Gandhi Auditorium in the Raj Bhawan in the presence of the chief minister.
BJP leaders Paltu Ram, Chhatarpal Gangwar, Sangeeta Balwant Bind, Dharamveer Prajapati, Sanjeev Kumar Gaur and Dinesh Khatik took oath as junior ministers. Congratulating new minister, Yogi Adityanath tweeted, “Hearty congratulations and best wishes to all the new members who joined the Uttar Pradesh cabinet today. I have full faith that your energy, commitment, experience and public support will prove helpful in realizing the resolve of ‘Antyodaya’. Best wishes to all of you for a bright tenure.” 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 2022 UP polls, party leaders admit, has been taken with an eye on balancing various castes, including those that so far were unrepresented. BJP will fight crucial 2022 UP polls under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath. Ahead of elections, several fronts have been formed to challenge the ruling saffron party.