Lucknow, Jul 7 (PTI) Seven ministers from Uttar Pradesh were sworn in at Rashtrapati Bhavan Wednesday, all picked with an eye on next year's assembly polls in the state.
All seven took oath of office and secrecy as ministers of state.
Of the seven newly inducted ministers from UP, Anupriya Patel heads BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) and was a minister in the first Narendra Modi government. The rest are from the BJP.
Anupriya Patel, Pankaj Choudhary and B L Verma are from the Other Backward Classes, which BJP leader in UP say make up 50 per cent of voters in the state.
Three others-- Kaushal Kishore, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma and S P Singh Baghel-- are from the Scheduled Castes category.
Ajay Kumar is the lone Brahmin in this batch of ministers from the state. There was speculation earlier that Jitin Prasada, a Brahmin face of the Congress who recently joined the BJP, may be given a ministerial berth.
But with Ajay Kumar, the state's Terai region also gets representation. Barring Rajya Sabha MP B L Verma, the new ministers are from the Lok Sabha. A regional balance is maintained.
Anupriya Patel (Mirzapur) and Pankaj Chaudhary (Maharajganj) are from eastern Uttar Pradesh. From western UP, Baghel represents Agra and Rajya Sabha MP B L Verma hails from Budaun.
Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, who represents Jalaun is from the Bundelkhand region. Ajay Kumar represents Khiri parliamentary constituency in Terai and Kaushal Kishore is from Mohanlalganj, adjacent to capital Lucknow.
BJP leaders say that the OBCs constitute about 50 per cent of the voters in the state and the Scheduled Castes make up 20 per cent.
Anupriya Patel, a minister of state at the Centre from 2016 to 2019, has been jockeying for a separate ministry to solve problems faced by the OBCs.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath congratulated all new Union ministers through tweets.
Meanwhile, apparently upset over the induction of Anupriya Patel in the Union council of ministers, NISHAD party chief Sanjay Nishad asked if she can be made a Union minister, then why not MP Praveen Nishad.
“The people of the Nishad community are already going far from the BJP and if the party does not rectify the mistake, it will face consequences in the upcoming Assembly polls,' he said.
'If Anupriya Patel, who has popularity on a few seats, could get space in the council of ministers, then why Praveen Nishad, who has popularity on over 160 seats, can't get space.
In the 2018 bypolls, Praveen won from Yogiji's seat (Gorakhpur) and later won the Sant Kabir Nagar Lok Sabha seat, which was considered a difficult one,” The NISHAD party chief said. PTI NAV ASH RDK RDK