Two ministers of state Manoj Kumar Pandey and Gayatri Prasad Prajapati were Saturday elevated to cabinet rank in a major cabinet reshuffle.
Another legislator Shivakant Ojha was appointed cabinet minister, but he could not take oath as he is on study tour as part of the Commonwealth parliamentary delegation.
With this, the 60 member Akhilesh’s ministry now has 25 cabinet ministers, five ministers of state with independent charge and 30 ministers of state. With the appointment of Pandey and Ojha, there will now be three Brahmin ministers in the cabinet.
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Manoj Kumar Pandey was currently the minister of state for agriculture and religious affairs. He represents Unchahar constituency in Rae Bareli district, which is the parliamentary constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He was heading the Brahmin Sabha of SP, which is presently dissolved.
Gayatri Prasad Prajapati is a first-time MLA from Amethi, the parliamentary constituency of Rahul Gandhi. At present, he was minister of state (independent charge) for geology and mining. Prajapati is currently heading the rath yatra in favour of SP for the inclusion of 17 most backward castes in the scheduled caste list.
Shivakant Ojha is a party hopper and has been in BJP and BSP in the past. He was a minister during the BJP regime and contested in the last Lok Sabha elections from Pratapgarh as a BSP candidate. He is presently a SP MLA from Raniganj in Pratapgarh.