Former minister and Independent legislator Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya is likely to be reinducted in the ministry. Rajbhawan officials confirmed that the swearing-in ceremony for the expansion of the Akhilesh Yadavs ministry will be held at Gandhi hall on Friday.
Few other junior ministers,mainly from the western region of the state where the Samajwadi Party (SP) is facing resentment after the Muzaffarnagar violence,are also likely to be elevated as cabinet ministers.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary,however,denied any information about Raja Bhaiyyas reinduction. Choudhary currently holds food and civil supplies and prison portfolio both were earlier held by Raja Bhaiyya.
At present,Akhileshs ministry has a strength of 58 ministers,including 21 cabinet ministers,six ministers of state (Independent charge) and 31 ministers of state.
Raja Bhaiyya,a five-time Independent MLA from Kunda in Pratapgarh,had to resign March 4 following a triple murder,including that of DSP Ziaul Haq,at Balipur village in Kunda. His name also figured in the FIR lodged by slain DSP Haqs wife Parveen Azad.
However,the case was investigated by the CBI and he was given a clean chit.
After Raja Bhaiyyas resignation,the Thakur lobby was mounting pressure on SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to reinduct him in the ministry. Hundreds of hoardings were put up in his favour by SPs Thakur MLAs.
Lately,the SP could feel stiff opposition from the Thakurs in the state. The two BJP legislators,arrested in the Muzaffarnagar violence,namely Sangeet Singh Som and Suresh Rana,are both Thakurs. The Thakur lobby within the SP had raised the demand for the ouster of Azam Khan from the cabinet after a sting operation aired on TV channels showed some policemen admitting they had acted under pressure from politicians.
To cool off the matter,Azam had personally met Raja Bhaiyya at the latters residence on October 5. It is learnt that during the meeting both leaders sorted out their differences.