PWD has gone to Congress import Jitin Prasada, while another newcomer, former IAS officer and former PMO official AK Sharma, has been given urban development and power, two crucial departments whose performances would be key to BJP’s show in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in the state.
Maurya has been given six departments — rural development, rural engineering, food processing, entertainment tax, public enterprises and national integration. However, the loss of PWD, arguably the most coveted department after home, would undercut the satisfaction he may have derived after retaining the deputy CM’s post despite losing from Sirathu.
Ditto for Pathak. While getting the number two position may have given a leg-up to the tall man from Lucknow Cantt and his legion of supporters, the departments he got may appear quite underwhelming. He, however, has been given full charge of health, family welfare and medical education. In the previous Yogi government, there were two ministers handling health and medical education separately.
The two departments AK Sharma has been given were also being handled by two ministers in the previous government — Ashutosh Tandon and Shrikant Sharma. Both have been dropped this time. Sharma, who belongs to Mau district, had opted for VRS two years before retirement to become a BJP MLC in 2021 and had been waiting to get a ministerial berth.
Prasada, who joined BJP last year after quitting Congress, was allocated technical education in the last few months of the previous Yogi government. The allocation of the PWD department to him this time is being seen as an elevation.
The 34 departments Yogi has kept to himself include home, appointments, personnel, information, housing and urban planning, administrative reforms, and planning. In 2017, when he took over as CM, Yogi had 36 departments. The number was reduced in subsequent reshuffles.
Among other senior ministers, Suresh Khanna has retained finance and parliamentary affairs, while SP Sahi has retained agriculture and agri education and research.
In another surprise, BJP state chief and now cabinet minister Swatantra Dev Singh has been given seven departments, including Jal Shakti and Namami Gange. He has the maximum number of departments after the CM. These departments were earlier with Mahendra Singh, who has been dropped.
The lone woman cabinet minister in Yogi Cabinet 2.0, Baby Rani Maurya, who was governor of Uttarakhand, has been allocated women’s welfare and child development and nutrition.
Another veteran minister, Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary, has been given the crucial sugarcane development and sugar mills departments, which were with Suresh Rana in the previous Yogi government. Rana lost the election from Thana Bhavan.
New entrant Jaiveer Singh has been given tourism and culture, while Dharmpal Singh, who was irrigation minister in the first two years of the previous Yogi government, has also been given six departments — animal husbandry, dairy development, minority welfare, Muslim waqf and civil defence.
Nand Gopal Nandi, who had civil aviation and stamp and registration in Yogi Government 1.0, has been allocated the important industrial development, export promotion, NRI and investment promotion departments.
Like Khanna and Shahi, Bhupendra Chaudhary has also retained his ministry, panchayati raj. Varanasi MLA Anil Rajbhar has been given labour while Rakesh Sachan has been given MSMEs and khadi, which were with Siddharth Nath Singh, who also has been dropped.
Higher education, information technology and science and technology have been allocated to Yogendra Upadhayaya, an MLA from Agra.
Among BJP’s alliance partners, Apna Dal’s (S) Ashish Patel has been given technical education and Nishad Party chief Dr Sanjay Nishad has been allocated the newly created fisheries department.
The excise department has been given to junior minister with independent charge Nitin Agrawal, who also switched loyalties from SP to BJP during the previous Yogi government.
The secondary education department has gone to Gulab Devi, who has been elevated as MoS (independent charge), while basic education has been given to the late Kalyan Singh’s grandson, Sandeep Singh.
Sports and youth welfare has gone to Girish Chandra Yadav while Dharmveer Prajapati has been allocated the prison department. Another new entrant, Dayashanker Singh, has been allocated the transport department, while JPS Rathore has been given the cooperative department.
Former IPS officer Asim Arun, who is MoS (independent charge), has been given the social welfare department, while Dr Arun Saxena has been allocated forests, Dinesh Pratap Singh horticulture, Narendra Kashyap backward welfare and Dayshanker Mishra “Dayalu” the Ayush department.
Twenty junior ministers have been attached with various departments headed by cabinet ministers.