The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday allocated portfolio to its ministers a day after its first reshuffle. While finance department has been given to Suresh Kumar Khanna, who was once a key accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots case, Ashutosh Tondon has got the Urban Development Ministry.
Jai Pratap Singh will be the new health minister of the state, replacing Sidharth Nath Singh. He has been given medical, health and family welfare departments. The reshuffle in the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet was necessisated to fill the slots that have fallen vacant in the last few months, especially after some state ministers were elected to the Lok Sabha. Also, the government wanted to induct some new faces in the Cabinet.
On Wednesday, Adityanath inducted 18 new members in his council of ministers in the first reshuffle since the BJP government came to power in the state two and a half years ago. The Uttar Pradesh chief minister has kept 37 departments to himself. Twenty-three ministers, the 18 new faces and five others who were elevated from the minister of state rank they held earlier, were sworn in by Governor Anandiben Patel at the Raj Bhavan.
Six of the 23 were sworn in as cabinet ministers, six as ministers of state with an independent charge and the remaining 11 get the MoS rank. Their portfolios are likely to be announced later. Five ministers resigned Tuesday night from the original 43-member ministry. Among the six sworn in as cabinet ministers, four were earlier ministers of state with independent charge. Another was elevated to the rank of MoS with an independent charge.
Two new faces - Ram Naresh Agnihotri and Kamal Rani Varun - joined as cabinet ministers. The four MoS-rank ministers promoted to the cabinet-level include Suresh Rana (49), a two-time MLA from Thana Bhawan in western Uttar Pradesh's Shamli, whose name figures in cases related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.