In a dramatic return of sorts, the tainted Mining minister Gayatri Prajapati, who was sacked by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on September 12, is likely to be reinducted in the cabinet on Monday. This will be the eighth expansion of the Akhilesh Yadav government since it assumed office and probably the last before the state goes to polls in early 2017. Governor Ram Naik will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at Raj Bhawan on Monday.
The council of ministers in UP can have 60 ministers and there are three vacancies at present. “Sacked minister Gayatri Prajapati is set to be inducted as a cabinet minister as part of a compromise formula to end the recent family feud in the Yadav clan, but might be handed a different portfolio,” SP sources said. Apart from Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, the present MLA from Ballia Ziauddin Rizvi, who was to take an oath of office during the last cabinet expansion in June but failed as he was away abroad, is also expected to be inducted in the council of ministers this time .
Meanwhile, hectic lobbying was underway in the ruling Samajwadi Party by legislators to get a berth in the council of ministers ahead of the cabinet expansion which is seen as the last before the state goes to the polls in 2017 . Several aspiring MLAs including sacked minister Raj Kishore Singh were lobbying for their inclusion. The legislators have met CM Akhilesh Yadav, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and also the state SP chief Shivpal Yadav.
As per a Raj Bhawan release, Governor Ram Naik has fixed 12 noon on September 26 for the oath ceremony at Gandhi Hall of Raj Bhawan on the recommendation of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. It would be the first time in recent past that an oath ceremony is being held during ‘pitrapaksh’, considered to be an inauspicious period in the Hindu calendar.