Speculations are rife about a possible cabinet expansion in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly polls. According to sources, Congress turncoat Jitin Prasada could be given a place in the Yogi Adityanath government.
Prasada joined the BJP on Wednesday in Delhi. He is a prominent Brahmin leader from western Uttar Pradesh. Sources said that Prasad could join the government in the Cabinet expansion.
Also, AK Sharma, who joined the BJP in January this year, could be inducted into the government. A 1988 batch IAS officer, Sharma is associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the last two decades. He was PM Modi's trusted bureaucrat.
Sources said that Sharma could be given some additional responsibility in the government ahead of the Assembly elections early next year.
It is believed that the issue of Cabinet expansion figured during Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi today. Adityanath had on Thursday arrived here on a two-day visit and met Union Minister Amit Shah.
Sources said the BJP high command is yet to give a go-ahead for Cabinet expansion. Yogi Adityanath's Delhi visit assumes significance as assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are just a few months away from now. The BJP had earlier rushed its organisational leaders to tackle the 'crisis' in its ranks. Senior BJP leader BK Santosh last week visited the state to review the functioning of the party. He had met ministers, MLAs, MPs and Adityanath too.
Sources said that BJP leadership wants to make the Cabinet and party structure more 'accommodating' ahead of the Assembly polls. The leadership believes that there should be a fine balance of caste equations in the government and the organisation.
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet currently has 42 ministers and can accomodate 18 more. Uttar Pradesh will go to the polls in February-March next year.