Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will expand his cabinet on June 27 in perhaps the last reshuffle of his council of ministers ahead of the Assembly election in early 2017.
Governor Ram Naik will administer oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at Raj Bhawan on June 27, a Raj Bhawan release said.
This will be the seventh expansion of the Akhilesh Yadav government since it assumed office in 2012.
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In the last expansion on October 31, last year, the chief minister had inducted five cabinet ministers, eight ministers of state with independent charge and eight ministers of state.
Speculation of a cabinet expansion has been rife in the recent past and each time the chief minister met the governor in Raj Bhavan, it would give grist to the rumour mill.
After the surprise dismissal of senior minister Balram Yadav from the ministry on Tuesday following the merger of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s Quami Ekta Dal with Samajwadi Party, there are four vacancies in the ministry.
The maximum permissible strength of the ministry, including the chief minister, is 60 in UP.