LUCKNOW: After a rejig of his cabinet by inducting 18 new faces and promoting five ministers of State with independent charge to cabinet rank, on Wednesday, UP CM Yogi Adityanath reshuffled the portfolios among all 56 members of his council of ministers, keeping 37 departments with him including Home and Revenue, on late Thursday night.
While some, including senior ministers, were stripped of the prime portfolios, some others, who had performed up to the mark, were accorded important assignments as an additional responsibility.
Meanwhile, a new Jal Shakti ministry was created in consonance with the recommendations of Niti Ayog by integrating irrigation department and Namami Gange, on the lines of Centre.
The responsibility of the Jal Shakti has been handed over to Dr Mahendra Singh, who won a lot of praise from CM Yogi for his exemplary contribution to rural development. Singh has been credited with successfully implementing the PM rural housing scheme leading the state as number one in the country.
Following the resignation of UP finance minister Rajesh Agarwal a day ahead of the cabinet expansion, CM Yogi expressed confidence in Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna and handed over the charge of Finance to him along with medical education. Khanna will continue to take care of Parliamentary affairs as well.
While the two deputy CMs retained all their portfolios, the biggest churn was reflected in the change of portfolio of Siddharth Nath Singh who was divested from medical and health department and given khadi and textiles, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and NRI departments. Sidharthnath Singh’s departments were handed over to excise minister Jai Pratap Singh. He has also been given charge of family welfare, mother and child welfare.
The two new inductees in the cabinet rank -- Ram Naresh Agnihotri and Kamal Rani Varun have been given the charge of excise and technical education departments respectively.
Suresh Rana elevated as a cabinet minister, will continue to hold the responsibility of sugarcane and developments. Rana hails from cane belt of western UP and he had played a key role in clearing cane arrears due on sugar mill owners to farmers.
The other star performers included Agriculture minister Shiv Pratap Shahi and Energy minister Shrikant Sharma. Both have retained their departments. Sharma had drawn applauds from Lucknow to Delhi for implementing Centre’s flagship Saubhgya Yojna, drive to electrify even household, successfully.
While Chetan Chauhan has been downgraded by withdrawing the sports department from him, Ashutosh Tandon, son of BJP veteran Ali Tandon, believed to have volunteered for a change from medical education to urban development. Lalji Tandon, now governor MP, too was urban development minister in Kalyan Singh government.
The CM is also learnt to have been unhappy with Nand Gopal Nandi and had cancelled transfers and postings, with an inquiry in his stamp and registration department. In the portfolio distribution, Nandi has been downgraded after being stripped of this department. Ravindra Jaiswal representing PM Modi’s constituency in the cabinet has been given the charge of stamp and registration.