Lucknow: In a step widely believed to be an effort to revive the sinking public image of his government, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav began an extensive reshuffle in his team, discharging eight ministers and stripping the departments from nine ministers. This is also being viewed as a strategy from Akhilesh to get out of the shadows of Mulayam Singh Nadav, his father, and put his own mark on the ministry.
What is interesting is that this strategy was expected early next month after the Bihar assembly elections scheduled to end next month, and the unanticipated pronouncement came as a shocked to the released ministers. The responsibilities of all 17 ministers will lie in the chief minister until new entrants are sworn in and allocated work, which will take place on 31 October.
Theories about this exercise had increased after Akhilesh met Ram Naik, the state Governor, in Lucknow on October 28 to talk about the enlarging of his cabinet. According to information from the Governor, Raj Bhawan, on the advice of the Chief Minister, sacked cabinet ministers Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh (Stamps, Registration and Civil Defense), Shiv Kumar Beriya (Textiles and Silk), Narad Rai (Khadi and Village Industries), Ambika Chaudhary (Backward Classes and Handicapped Welfare), Shivakant Ojha (Technical Education), Ministers of State Alok Kumar Shakya (Technical Education), Yogesh Pratap Singh (Basic Education), and Bhagwat Sharan Gangwar (Micro, Small and Medium Industries).
In a more interesting move, nine cabinet ministers’ departments have been withdrawn. These Include Raghvendra Pratap Singh ‘Raja Bhaiya’ (Food and Civil Supplies), Ahmad Hassan (Health and Family Welfare), Awadhesh Prasad (Social Welfare, Scheduled Castes and Tribes Welfare), Ram Govind Chaudhary (Basic Eduation), Paras Nath Yadav (Horticulture and Food Processing), Durga Prasad Yadav (Transport), Iqbal Mahmood (Fisheries and Public Enterprises), Brahma Shankar Tripani (Home Guards) and Mahboob Ali (Secondary Education).
Notably, there has been a total revamp in the branch of education, and new faces will deal with technical, secondary and basic education.
Although talk of a huge revamp of the ministry had been speculated on for many weeks, it was thought that these changes would happen next month. The majority of leaders affected in the restructure are veterans in the ruling party, and this activity against them shows a sense of urgency by the chief minister to have an image makeover. It also shows that Akhilesh might finally be making decisions on his own, since the majority of people included in the exercise on Thursday are deemed to be close to Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party president.
Apparently, the majority of the affected ministers were deemed to be unable to control increasing factionalism within the party in their districts, and others were experiencing charges of corruption.
Apparently the focus of the exercise is to give Akhilesh a bigger say in having his choice of individuals for the remainder of his tenure in government.
Laxmikant Bajpai, the state president of Bharatiya Janata Party, had press conference to declare that the state government would not succeed in this move because the people want to get rid of the government itself.
Vijay Pathak, BJP’s spokesman, said that it was interesting that the ministers were sacked when the Chief Minister could just have easily requested that they resign.