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UP likely to get lion's share in Union Cabinet expansion

Tuesday, 6 July 2021 (16:06 IST)
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh, going to crucial Assembly polls in early 2022, is expected to get a 'lion's share' in the expansion of the Narendra Modi ministry at the centre.
Though UP has a maximum number of 11 ministers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Textile Minister Smriti Irani, but still more are likely to be added in view of the ensuing Assembly polls.
A senior BJP leader said here on Tuesday that the MPs getting a berth in the union ministry would be solely on the line of caste and region, which will suit the party in the coming elections.
The BJP in UP is at the moment is tasked with fine tuning the caste calculations. Some of the challenges it faces are from the Most Backward, Brahmin and Dalits.
Apna Dal president and MP from backward region Mirzapur Anupriya Patel has a high chance of being included in the ministry as she represents the strong Kurmi community.
Recently, Ms Patel had a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah which has raised the possibility of her being brought back in cabinet. She was in the Modi cabinet in the last regime.
BJP sources said she can influence the large Kurmi vote base, the second most influential backward caste after Yadavs. Kurmis have been loyal to BJP since 2014.
Brahmin discontent is a major issue for the BJP in UP at present and in this expansion a senior Brahmin MP is likely to be included in the ministry. Two Brahmin faces from UP include Allahabad MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Kanpur MP Satya Dev Pachauri, either could be a choice.
Ms Joshi has her father's legacy, herself a Big name and can be used for Uttarakhand political context as well.
While on the other hand Pachauri from Kanpur can be used to influence Brahmin voters in the crucial belt to central UP. Its here where Vikas dubey encounter has been a big issue for the Brahmin .
The other main issue would be of western UP, where the farmers and Jats are annoyed with the present Centre as well as the state regime. Though Sanjeev Baliyan, a Jat leader is a minister there but still another leader of the community like Satpal Singh MP from Baghpat can be a possible choice.
Surprisingly, there is no Dalit minister from UP in the union ministry hence there is a big chance of a SC MP getting a berth. Non Jatav Dalits specially the Pasi have been a big pillar of support for the BJP in 2014, 2017 and 2019.
Big Dalit faces from UP are Ramashanker Katheria (etawah), Rajkumar Chahal(Fatehpur sikri) , Kaushal kishor (Mohanlal ganj), anyone of them can get a berth.(UNI)

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