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UP Cabinet expansion: Guv Ram Naik to administer oath to new faces in CM Akhilesh's council

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 26 September 2016, 9:41 IST

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will expand the state cabinet on 26 September. This may be the last reshuffle of his council of ministers ahead of the Assembly election in early 2017.

Governor Ram Naik will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at Raj Bhawan.

The expansion has been clouded by the controversy as a social activist have challenged the possible re-entry of tainted former Mines Minister Gayatri Prajapati.

With Prajapati's re-induction on the cards as a part of a compromise formula to douse the flames in the Yadav clan that took the hue of a major political crisis recently, activist Nutan Thakur has petitioned the Governor against making him minister again.

On 25 September, a day before the expansion, the Chief Minister met the Governor at Raj Bhavan after the petition was filed.

"The chief minister met me to discuss the cabinet expansion on Monday. Several issues were discussed. There are three vacancies and oath would take place at 12 pm," the Indian Express quoted Naik as saying.

This will be the eighth expansion of the Akhilesh Yadav government since it assumed office in 2012. The UP council of ministers can have 60 ministers and there are three vacancies at present.

Apart from Gayatri Prajapati, another probable swearing in could be that of Ziauddin Rizvi, who was not able to take oath in July when the cabinet was last expanded. He was abroad then.

Nutan filed the petition before the Governor just 48 hours before the oath ceremony requesting him not to re-induct Prajapati.

In her petition, she said Prajapati was removed as minister on serious corruption charges after the order of Allahabad High Court for CBI enquiry and the CBI report was presented before the court.

She said a minister is removed from office under provisions of Article 164 of the Constitution when he loses the pleasure of the Governor.

Nutan said when Prajapati was removed as minister, he had lost the pleasure of the Governor. Hence, he cannot be re- inducted in the Ministry unless the facts and reasons on which he had lost the pleasure of the Governor get removed.

Prajapati began as Minister of State for Irrigation in February 2013 and was moved to the lucrative berth of mining, directly under Yadav who handled that portfolio.

In July 2013, Yadav elevated Prajapati to MoS (Independent Charge) and in January 2014, he was made a Cabinet Minister.

--With PTI inputs

First published: 26 September 2016, 9:41 IST